Gone are the days when burning the candle at both ends was seen as a smart career move. Now it’s far more likely that bosses are going to reward subordinates who work smart, not just work a lot.
In climate where genuine performance and not just perseverance are the key to getting ahead, getting more sleep can actually be the secret to maximizing your career prospects.
Below are five ways getting more sleep can give your career prospects a much needed energy boost…
1. More sleep makes you more productive
This one should come as no surprise. If you’re anything like me when you haven’t slept well you might find it hard to even remember your computer password let alone find the motivation needed to finish that tedious report for Dave in Accounting.
On the other hand, when you’re well-rested, you’re suddenly capable of taking on the world. Suddenly no problem seems too insurmountable. You bound into meetings with glee, your inbox is cleared with wild abandon and clients are sweet talked like no one has ever sweet talked before.
Countless studies have shown that a well-rested brain is simply more efficient than a tired one. Synapses fire at speed and connections are made instantaneously, it’s for this reason that sleep has been referred to as the best natural performance enhancer known to humankind.
2. Sleep makes you more creative
Anyone can work hard. Anyone can stay late and fill out spreadsheets. The thing that makes some staff members stand out amongst the herd is that special X Factor. What is it? Creativity, that’s what. The ability to think laterally and look at problems from a different angle.
For most of human history creativity has been something of an enigma. Why are some people inspired and others not? There is certainly a lot we are still to learn about this most ephermel of human qualities but thanks to advances in neuroscience, one thing we are now certain of is that creativity and sleep are inextricably linked. The more sleep you get, the more creative you will think.
3. Sleep makes you a better networker
Getting ahead in the workplace isn’t just about turning up at work on time and handing in your reports before deadline day. No, climbing the career ladder involves building interpersonal relationships, demonstrating you work well with others and basically being an all round good networker.
Those who sleep well have been shown to be far better at making and maintaining good personal relationships that those who are sleep-deprived. A tired individual is more prone to mood swings, is less tolerant of others and lacks the energy to cultivate lasting relationships.
What’s more, studies have shown the tired-brain actually lacks the processing power to properly identify facial cues in others. Facial cues being the things we use to read between the lines and discern how someone else is really feeling. Meaning when you’re sleepy you are likely to be less empathetic to others, which does not bode well when you’re trying to make friends in the workplace.
In a nutshell, better sleep makes you a nicer, better person.
4. Sleep makes you healthier
Nothing will impede your career progress quicker than ill-health. While sick days shouldn’t count against you, let’s not kid ourselves if you’re constantly out of the office and tucked up under the sheets at home sipping chicken soup, you’re chances of promotion are probably not improving.
Sleep-deprivation has been linked to an increase risk of falling foul to a whole manner of mental and physical health conditions. Anything from anxiety stress and depression, to diabetes, strokes, heart disease and obesity are all made more likely by poor sleep.
Getting good quality sleep has the exact opposite effect. Whether you suffer from aches and pains or a weak heart, sleep can help. It gives your immune system a boost and helps your body regulate levels of stress hormones and neurotransmitters. Meaning not only are you more resistant to illness but you also feel calmer, less anxious and more positive.
Getting to the top will require hard work and time and if you want to be alive long enough to achieve your goals get better sleep.
5. Sleep makes you more attractive
When you sleep badly, you show it. Your skin becomes dry, puffy and pasty. Bags form around your eyes and wrinkles appear where wrinkles didn’t exist before. In short, when you sleep badly you begin to look quite unhealthy…which isn’t surprising because people who sleep badly are unhealthy.
Now, why does any of this matter to your career prospects? We’d like to think that in our modern meritocratic society that what we look like plays no bearing on our career prospects but unfortunately that simply isn’t the case.
Those who look and feel healthy are more comfortable with their appearance and as a result act more confident. The more confident you are the more likely your superiors will notice you. The more you stand out from the crowd the better your chances of progress. Simple.
Well there you go, five ways in which sleep can help you get ahead in the workplace. Take it from me if you want to maximize your career there is only one sure fire way to go about things – sleep your way to the top!