We need a mindset refresh.
Think about your last 9AM meeting. How many people were actually on time, not rushing in ten minutes late with a half-assed apology? How many people were alert and paying attention and not catching up on whatever they didn’t finish before crashing? How many people were slumping over a half gallon of espresso pretending to listen while they try to shake off last night’s poor planning?
Here’s five reasons to stop pushing exhaustion and start embracing the lifestyle of the well-slept.
Unless you’re literally a vampire bat, being up all night is severely detrimental to your health.
We have to stop hearing “I’m working harder than you.” and start hearing “I’m unable to prioritize my health.” when people complain about how tired they are. Glorifying a state of constant sleep deprivation could be leading to massive amounts of health issues in the US.
We live in a world where everyone moves fast and refuses to take a break, but the reality of this break-neck pace we’ve set is that we’re constantly doing irreparable damage to our health. Sleep deprivation (Regularly getting less than 7 hours of sleep) has proven to be a contributor to cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and a whole other host of terrible issues.
After just one night of missed sleep, many of your body’s systems start rapidly deteriorating due to the lack of rest and trying to compensate. Every consecutive night plunges you deeper into sleep debt and drags your health down with it. Is any of this really worth it?
You look bad, we’re all just collectively pretending you don’t.
You know how it goes. You drag yourself out of bed in the morning, already hanging today’s hope on returning this evening, and piece together a look that says you tried, but not very hard. Just when you think you’ve pulled off last night’s mascara as this morning’s daytime smokey eye, someone asks that dreaded question.
Are you okay?
What they really want to ask is, “Are you on the brink of death because you look like you clawed your way up from the pits of hell before catching the subway.”
Sleep is responsible for refreshing everything about you overnight—inside and out. If a missed night of sleep can have be such a massive hit to your insides, imagine what’s happening to your outsides. Lack of sleep prevents your skin from getting enough moisture, leading to breakouts, dry patches, and gasp wrinkles. And those dark circles under your eyes? Not getting enough sleep causes your blood vessels to dilate and bags to start taking up residence under your half-open eyes.
Pulling an all nighter doesn’t make you the most dedicated person in the office—it actually makes you suck at your job.
Everyone knows that guy, and let’s just have a painful moment of self awareness here, we’ve all been that guy. The one that declares proudly over the volume of the bags under their eyes that they pulled an all nighter to get a project or presentation done. The one that misses calls because they are just too busy catching up. The one that gets in early, stays online late, and then shoves the rest of their lives into the late-night hours.
That guy is celebrated for all the wrong reasons. Being dedicated to your job is one thing, but being so dedicated that you’re willing to sacrifice the quality of your work makes zero sense.
Studies show over and over again that even missing out on one or two hours of sleep a night can heavily impact your ability to make decisions, work efficiently, and avoid mistakes on the job. When comparing a group of sleep-deprived students to well-rested students, the sleep-deprived group severely underperformed on basic protocols—15% of them failed the tests completely. Only 1% of the well-rested test group failed any of the tests.
So ask yourself (or, rather, ask your boss), who is the better value to a company—the hard worker or the good worker?
We’re all tired at 3PM. But you’re borderline comatose.
We’re all starting to get a little antsy as the clock ticks from afternoon to evening, even the best sleepers might feel the need for an extra boost of caffeine or something sweet, but if you’re sleep deprived, the 3:00 Slump hits you like a semi-truck.
Sleep deprivation causes chronic fatigue, a persistent state of not-quite-there that can start to really weigh on you in the mid-afternoons. Losing momentum because you haven’t been able to rest enough at night can start to bring the rest of the room down, too.
Your chaotic pinging and text rants are making us crazy.
Yes, it’s important to write down ideas when you have them so that you don’t forget about them by the morning. We’re accepting of that. We get it.
But, maybe consider taking a note?
Firing off late-night Slack messages and emails pressures your colleagues to be always-on. You can suggest they mute their notifications at night all you want, but without proper communication around expectations, they will always feel the need to respond right away, even knowing the message is there can interrupt their much-needed down time. You also contribute to a culture that never steps away from work, an unhealthy relic from the past that companies today are constantly fighting.
After-hours communication hurts job performance enough, but 2AM emails are a surefire way to kick off your team member’s morning with a stressful start.
So there you have it. Five reasons to start running at full capacity and stop depriving yourself of the sleep you desperately need.
Tell your friends.