How A Lack Of Sleep Could Hurt You On The Job

It’s one thing to yawn during a tedious meeting. But if you find yourself nodding off in front of your boss — you might be sleep-deprived.

And you’re not alone. Nearly 70 per cent of Canadians wish they could get better quality sleep most nights, according to national poll results published in the 2016 Canadian Sleep Review.

On top of that, a whopping 49 per cent say a lack of sleep affects their productivity at work.

That’s half the country’s workforce – yikes! – and sleep experts agree that not catching enough Z’s can make a pretty big dent in your job performance.

How a lack of sleep hurts your job performance

Not getting enough shut-eye can lead to a host of problems, like a lack of alertness, irritability, and an inability to concentrate or control your emotions – which could make writing reports or navigating office politics a challenge.

“The brain functions most affected are those responsible for making decisions and planning,” says neurologist Dr. Thanh Dang-Vu, Concordia University’s research chair in sleep, neuroimaging and cognitive health, exercise science.

In other words: Without enough sleep, you can expect to mess up everything from crunching numbers in a spreadsheet to figuring out timelines for a project.

And, sometimes, people even have physical symptoms like headaches, Dang-Vu says. In the long term, he adds an ongoing lack of sleep can lead you to get sick more often, and increases your risk of diabetes and obesity.

How to tell if you’re sleep-deprived

So how do you know if you’re lacking sleep? Sleep consultant and Good Night Sleep Site founder Alanna McGinn says you should ask yourself a few key questions:

  • Are you waking up tired, even though you feel like you’ve had a full night of sleep?
  • Are you drowsy throughout the work day?
  • Are you actually dozing off at your desk, or during your commute?

If you answer ‘yes,’ to those, that’s a red flag. “I’ve had individuals literally falling asleep, in the middle of the day, in the middle of a meeting,” McGinn says.

But don’t go thinking there’s a magic number of hours you should be getting each night.

“It really depends on how much sleep you need to feel refreshed,” says Dang-Vu. “For some people, six hours might be enough. For others, they might need nine.”

Aim to get more shut-eye

To get solid sleep on a regular basis, McGinn says it’s important to turn off all screens at least 15 minutes before you head to sleep, and keep a consistent bedtime.

That means going to bed at roughly the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning – even on weekends and holidays – at least 80 per cent of the time.

“That’s going to help sync your 24-hour clock, and help your body sleep easier,” McGinn says.

And if nothing seems to work, or if your partner notices you snoring heavily or having other nighttime problems, Dang-Vu says it’s best to go to your doctor to make sure your lack of shut-eye isn’t tied to a serious condition like sleep apnea or insomnia.

Written by Lauren Pelley
Originally found on Workopolis

Find Work


If you are an Industrial Skilled Trade or General Worker - looking to advance your career or you are a Job Seeker - looking for flexible work schedules or you simply want to make extra money in addition to your main income


Find Workers


If you are a Business looking for solutions to your Staffing needs, be it a Single Hire for a difficult to fill position or Staffing support of your Contingent Work Force....


The benefits of using recruitment agencies for your job search


Recruitment Agencies are increasingly popular. More and more companies are relying...


Manufacturing Jobs: Examples, Types and Changes


Definition: Manufacturing jobs are defined as those that create new products...


Contact Info

1620 Albion Road, Suite 307 Toronto, ON M9V4B4

To see more news and helpful job search information please subscribe to our mailing list.

Join Our Mailing List


Please, enter a valid value


You have updated the info in the form please press the Save button to keep the changes.

Are you a candidate or an employer?

I'm Employeer
I'm Candidate

Are you a candidate or an employer?

I'm Employeer
I'm Candidate

Ask a Question

Join Our Mailing List


Your account is not active!

For activating click here

Apply now All fields marked with * are required!

First Name *:
Last Name *:
Career level:
Education level:
Email (login) *:
Postal/Zip *:

Cell Phone *:
Home Phone *:

Your resume:

Supported file types: doc, docx, pdf, rtf, txt. (Max size: 5MB)

Password *:
Confirm Password *:

Please, enter a valid value

Please select either Employee or Candidate

When entering the date from, please make sure to enter a Current or Future date

File successfully deleted