Psychologically Healthy Workplaces are Real Snoozers
In the most recent issue of our Good Company Newsletter, Dr. Larissa Barber reports that while health promotion initiatives are gaining popularity in the workplace, healthy sleep gets little (if any) attention.
In her article, Barber reviews the research and argues that employers should promote healthy sleep practices, since poor sleep can negatively affect employees' psychological and physical health, as well as their functioning at work.
I have to admit, I never really thought much about how my sleep affected my job performance until I returned to work after my first child was born. In those first few months of sleep deprivation, I was all too aware of how impaired I was (and that was after a relatively short period of time). As someone accustomed to thinking, moving and talking at lightning speed, the experience of feeling like I was in slow motion didn't sit well with me.
Even worse, when my supervisor would pop by first thing in the morning to ask me a question, I frequently had to say that I'd have to get back to him. The answer was swimming around somewhere in my head, but I just couldn't retrieve the information. Not a fun experience in an office full of psychologists who were likely assessing my cognitive deficits and thinking about scheduling an intervention.
Fortunately, as we settled into our new routines and sleep improved, I returned to something at least close to my previous level of functioning. I was, however, left with a new-found appreciation for how difficult life must be for people with chronic sleep problems, as well as a better understanding of how quickly poor sleep can affect one's job performance. So, the next time you're wondering what the mind-body connection has to do with work, my advice...just sleep on it.
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