How Sleep Affects Success In The Workplace



Good quality sleep is as essential as food and water. Sleep affects almost every system in our bodies including immune function, our moods, the brain (how nerve cells/neurons communicate with each other), the heart and lungs, disease resistance and our metabolism.

As we sleep, our brains go through a cleaning process by which cerebral fluids are flushed out of the brain, removing toxic buildup that accumulate while we are awake. 

It has been proven that chronic lack of quality sleep increases our risk for diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety and high blood pressure

Because of these things, it is recommended that the average adult get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

But even with these recommendations, about one-third of all North Americans sleep fewer hours per night , compromising overall health.


So how does a lack of sleep impact our performance in the work place?

  1. Cognitive Function

Even one night of poor sleep quality or duration can negatively affect our ability to focus and pay attention, negatively affecting academic performance and job productivity.

While asleep our brains carryout complex processes in which the things we have learned throughout the day are consolidated into memories, these memories are then stored for future recall. 

Poor sleep is associated with slowed reaction time - increasing the risk for driving related injuries at work or while commuting. The National Sleep Foundation found that "nearly one-third of drivers said they have nodded off or fallen asleep while driving". Slower response time also lowers our accuracy rates meaning more mistakes in our work.

Optimal sleep leads to increased creativity! Companies whose employees sleep well report higher levels of innovative thinking and problem solving abilities.


  1. Dollars and Time

A Harvard research study found that sleep deprivation for the average person leads to 11.3 days of lost productivity each year! This translates to $63.2 billion dollars lost by American companies annually.

Having healthy employees who sleep well is good for business!


  1. Morale

Those who don't catch enough z's are often not at their happiest, which can greatly affect morale in the workplace. Poor sleep leaves us feeling irritable, short-tempered and more vulnerable to stress but once our sleep improves our mood often improves.

Sleep problems may, in turn, contribute to psychological problems. For example, chronic insomnia may increase an individual's risk of developing a mood disorder, such as depression or anxiety. Depending on the severity of such disorders, you may need to take a leave of absence or leave work indefinitely.


Corporate Wellness is crucial in business but also in creating a healthy, happy community.

We care about the well-being of our people but how do we show them? And what can we do to make a truly impactful difference in their lives and their health?

One of the best things we can do for our staff is educated and empower them to improve their sleep and their health.

Let Roxanne of FoodForSleep Holistic Consulting show your team how! Email