Our Look Who’s Talking series continues this month with words of wisdom on the connection between sleep and performance. No matter the industry or role, we all need to be at the top of our game. Feeling a little dull and sluggish? Take a read and then…sleep on it!
Sleep on it. We've all heard the phrase from our greatest givers of advice- grandmothers, parents, best friends. We also know it is sage advice and that a clear head always helps- but is it really something we can use to our advantage in our work lives?
Turns out, the answer is an overwhelming YES.
Our sleep plays a very important role in every aspect of our lives. Each day, our Health, Motivation, Productivity, Creativity, and Memory are positively or negatively impacted by how we slept the night before. And we now have research to prove it.
In one recent study titled "Sleep Inspires Insight", participants were given puzzles that involved finding the final number to complete a series of digits. The way they were trained to solve the puzzle was to compare every two-digit pair in the series. What they were not told was that there was a shortcut that allowed people to identify the solution after only two steps. Participants performed three trials of the puzzle and then were given an eight-hour break before returning for ten more trials. Some of them slept during the break and some did not. The people who slept between the two sessions were twice as likely as the others to discover the easier way to solve the problem. According to the researchers, sleeping on a problem apparently allows for a restructuring of the brain connections, "setting the stage for the emergence of insight."
So if you want to have a competitive edge in your work/daily lives, look at your sleep. Start taking the steps necessary to get the recommended amount each night and watch how things will quickly start to shift after being more productive and creative at work. And if for no other reason, sleep more to feel better. One of my favorite feelings is waking up rested. You know those mornings where you wake up after a great night of sleep, and you think "Yes! I feel amazing and am going to have a great day." Let's all have more of those days.
Sarah Moe is Founder and CEO of Sleep Health Specialists. Sarah helps businesses and corporations achieve optimal employee productivity and wellness by providing Sleep Health Education to their workforce.
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