The real cost of pulling an all-nighter

When we think about it, it makes sense that not getting enough sleep will impair the way we perform, but we push that out of our minds when we have a deadline to meet and a pile of paperwork on our desks.  In fact, working long hours, pulling all-nighters, and sending emails in the middle of the night has kind of become a badge of honour in many of our "high performing organisations".

The science is out and has been for many years now, to show that a lack of sleep is bad for both your mind and body.  It impairs the very things you need to be successful in a high performing organisation; working memory, focus, creativity, innovation, and resilience.

A team of scientists from Uppsala University have now taken that another step further to show that acute sleep loss impacts working memory differently depending on your gender.  The study discovered that lack of sleep affected both genders however the effect was greater in women.  Interestingly, it also showed that women were not aware that their performance had been compromised. 

So what could this mean for organisations that encourage or worse still expect their staff to work extended hours to meet organisational deadlines?  Along with reduced cognitive function that effects decision making, reasoning, and problem-solving, they could be at higher risks of accidents and chronic health conditions (think hypertension, diabetes, heart disease).

If the unwritten, unspoken culture in your organisation is driving your staff to lose sleep, its time to rethink the real cost to your people, profits and progress. 

Contact me if your organisation looking for evidence-based wellbeing strategies to support your high performing teams.  More information on my wellbeing programs can be accessed here or you can contact me here.