Strange as it might sound, there is research evidence from University of California–San Diego, which suggests sleep times are directly linked to earnings. Their findings, currently under review, found that sleeping one extra hour each night increased average earnings by 16 percent. For their average study participant, this meant an extra $6,000 per year.
Mind your Sleep
Cognitive skills most needed in our professional lives severely get affected when we fail to get good sleep. Sleep deprivation strangely and very minutely affects our abilities to focus and concentrate, which are the key ingredients in logical reasoning and memory- a definite prerequisite to sound judgment and valuable decision making. Emerging research in this field further suggests that our brains depend on a nightly bath of sorts to keep them functioning at their best.
“SLEEP has been coined the lymphatic system of our mind,” says A. Thomas Perkins, a sleep expert, and director of the Sleep Medicine Program at Raleigh Neurology in Raleigh, North Carolina. “A healthy sleep, sort of flushes the brain of all metabolic waste, and it does this every night, getting in between the cells and neurons, purging the brain of the metabolic byproducts of the day.”
In 2013, a team of researchers at the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York found that the brain actually makes room for this nightly flushing of cerebrospinal fluid. Space between brain cells increases during sleep, letting it essentially wash the brain of “toxic molecules.”
Perkins explains that not getting enough sleep or not sleeping deeply enough hinders your brain’s ability to perform this nightly flush, possibly leading to the cognitive effects you experience the next day.
“You essentially have a brain trying to function the next day with junk laying around – metabolic byproduct and wastes that interfere with its functioning,” he says.
If you sit at the top of work ladder, where your job involves major responsibilities, a lack of sleep could be disastrous. The explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl disasters, the Exxon-Valdez oil spill and the 2013 deadly Bronx commuter train derailment were all blamed, at least in part, on fatigue.
It goes beyond any doubt that sleep deprivation doubles your chances of mistakes and stunts your logical and intuitive decision making.
For the average person, a lack of sleep could translate to the inability to focus on what’s being said at a meeting, to pull information together into an important report or to engage with co-workers in a collaborative and collegial manner.