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How Sleep Deprivation Can Affect Your Employees Performance

By | Jodi Rowe

When it comes to employee productivity, a good night’s sleep is important for overall performance and health. The American Academy of Sleep recommends seven or more hours of sleep every day. 

There are plenty of reasons that lend to the weight of just how important sleep is and how lack of it affects employee productivity in the workplace.

How Important is Sleeping?

According to a study, the majority of employed Americans spend up to 7.7 hours at work every day. In addition, the time spent traveling to and from work per individual is roughly 1.2 hours.  

Therefore, employees dedicate up to nine hours to work-related activities and the rest for entertainment, running personal errands, bonding with loved ones, resting, and sleeping. But do we get enough sleep? What do we stand to lose if we don’t get enough sleep?

Sleep is an essential aspect of the human body because it supports various functions. When we sign off for the night and fall asleep, other body functions such as muscle and breathing activities slow down. 

Subsequently, the brain neurons work to freshen up the body, mind, and all functions. This rejuvenation is vital, because it prepares the body for the next day’s activities.  It also controls the body’s ability to reason, manage expectations, and learn things. 

Can Lack of Sleep Affect Employee Productivity?

Failure to get enough sleep can lead to suboptimization of body processes, impaired judgment, and emotional burnout. These are short-term effects that impact the performance of your employees. 

Chronic deprivation of sleep can lead to severe consequences such as cognitive decline, dementia, obesity, and heart disease.

Employees Sleep Deprivation Can Affect Your Revenues

Sleep-related disorders can sometimes be traced to work, where employees become overwhelmed by their tasks. From a work-health perspective, work-life balance is critical for employees.

When this balance is absent for an extended period, it can lead to physical and mental fatigue, resulting from sleep deprivation. In addition, employees can come down with anxiety, weakened immune system, and mood swings.

Having a workforce suffering from sleep deprivation often leads to devastating effects, such as injuries at the workplace. That can be costly. For example, a personal injury lawsuit and a compensation case can cost the company time and money. 

Besides, sleep deprivation leads to lack of productivity. Employees suffering from physical and mental fatigue are less likely to perform optimally. Your revenues may take a hit as a result. On a broader perspective, lack of sleep costs the US economy a whopping $411 billion every year.

Internal Structures Can Help Solve Sleep Deprivation Problems at Work

Although it’s the responsibility of each employee to treat work and personal life with much care, a company can develop structures to help its employees achieve this. For example, you can establish policies that encourage mediation and conflict resolution. Other measures you can take include:

  • Flexible schedules.
  • A delegation of tasks.
  • A conducive work environment with appropriate workstations and lighting systems. 

Above all, employees must get enough sleep to be active in their duties and achieve their targets. 


As companies develop growth strategies, employee productivity is usually at the top of the priority list. The productivity of each employee contributes to the overall performance of the company.

Improving employees’ long-term productivity should be at the core of every business. It involves evaluating their strengths and capabilities and evaluating the existing framework and structures.

These measures can solve sleep deprivation problems, subsequently improving the employees’ quality of life, performance, and overall revenue for your company.


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