How sleep affects your time

By Vince Panella

When you build any sleep debt, no matter how small, you begin to suffer from sleep deprivation. The severity of the effects of sleep deprivation depends on how large your sleep debt is. The following time-specific effects of sleep deprivation will impact your control of time:

  1. Wasted education and training: Much of the time, money and effort you and others put into your education is wasted because your ability to remember and apply what you've learned is severely diminished.
  2. Reduced productivity and performance: Just one hour of sleep debt can degrade your productivity by 25 percent! A larger sleep debt can drop your performance even further up to 50 percent and in severe cases even more.
  3. Daytime drowsiness: You will feel groggy and foggy throughout the day. Your chances of dozing off at work, in class, or even behind the wheel greatly increase. Your creativity and ability to listen effectively also suffer.
  4. Increased moodiness and irritability: One of the first things to go when you become sleep deprived is your emotional control. You'll be more prone to mood swings and be provoked to anger much faster.
  5. Increased stress and anxiety and a loss of coping skills: Normal day-to-day stress will hit you even harder, increasing your anxiety and decreasing your confidence in your abilities. You feel more and more overwhelmed as you increase your sleep debt.
  6. Laziness: As your sleep debt increases, you'll become more and more lethargic, just going through the motions at work and home to get by rather than trying to improve.
  7. Loss of income: Because of the effects above, sleep deprivation could easily cause you to lose income on a personal and business level. Due to poor performance and increased mistakes, you could lose sales opportunities or even get fired. In America alone, businesses lose an average of $150 billion a year due to employee and management sleep deprivation.
  8. Increased illness: When you're sleep deprived, your body's immune system is not given the time to recharge properly. A minor sleep debt will decrease your immune system about 30 percent, increasing your chances of catching colds or the flu.
  9. Loss of life: Even a minor case of sleep deprivation can cause a fatal accident involving you, your family or innocent bystanders.

Vince Panella, a partner of Dovico Software, is the founder of Success-Centered Time Management and author of The 26-Hour Day.


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