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The 3 pm Feeling: Effects of Sleep Deprivation in the Workplace

In the digital age, the phrase “9-to-5 job” has begun to lose it’s meaning. With many freelancers suddenly finding themselves in viable roles amid mainstream industries, there is now the possibility of crafting your own schedule to whatever works best for you. With some sense of responsibility that might mean the freedom to work on passion projects during the day, but without it could mean you finding yourself falling asleep in the middle of a meeting the next morning.

With a new study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) suggesting that 1 in 3 adults are not getting enough rest, it’s no wonder the first place it impacts the hardest is the modern workplace. If you’ve been feeling the effects listed below, chances are it’s time for you to consider setting aside some more time for shut eye.

Losing your sense of productivity

When you find yourself having trouble getting through assigned tasks, you may be losing your sense of productivity. Not only is it costing you time, but turns out it’s costing your boss money– a study conducted by researchers at RAND Europe found that a lack of sleep among workers in the US is costing around $411 billion a year through sick time and lower rates of productivity. Not only is sleep deprivation taking a toll on your health, but it’s taking a toll on the economy as well. With only so many work hours in a day, it turns out there’s a price to pay for the hours of sleep that you’re missing.

Having trouble focusing, learning and communicating

There’s nothing worse than memory lapses during important meetings with clients. If you’re having a hard time remembering and retaining critical information (as well as communicating it to the rest of the team), you need to take a look at your sleep. Symptoms like forgetting names and overlooking simple blips may be a sign that your brain feels overloaded, especially if you aren’t finding the right ways to decompress before bed.

Try turning off your phone, reading a book, meditating or listening to ambient music so that you can give your mind a chance to turn off as well. Make time before bed to wind your mind down and clear some room in it for the next day’s challenges. Once you give yourself this very essential time off, it’ll feel easier when it’s time to turn on.

Seeing and feeling sudden physical changes

The first place you begin to feel the effects of sleep deprivation is in your physical appearance. They don’t call it “beauty sleep” without a good reason–without it, your bloodshot eyes and hunched posture may drive any impression of professionalism away. Less sleep means you’re more likely to reach towards unhealthy foods, mostly out of stress than anything else. If you want to get your physical health back on track, consider switching to a healthier lifestyle. Through finding a sense of control over what you eat, you’ll find yourself with boosted energy levels, improved cognitive function, and much deeper sleep.

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About the Author Vanessa Bermudez

Vanessa Bermudez is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the co-founder and editor of Modern Girls, a collaborative digital space featured in Girl Gaze Project and Teen Vogue.