The Importance of Sleep on Health, Wellbeing, and Performance

Whilst factors such as confidence, team integration, and attitude can have a direct impact on performance, an overarching factor that has even more of an impact is sleeping patterns. How much sleep you get on average each night can subsequently affect these factors and have a direct effect on your health. It can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the main cause of underperformance as it varies per case, however research shows that a common theme throughout each underperforming employee is how much rest they allow their body to get.

Of course, there may be external factors affecting why your sleep time is limited; this could be the responsibility of looking after young children or commuting between home and work. Where possible however, prioritising a reasonable bedtime before work the next day can go a long way to improving performance. It is proven that sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality are linked to weight issues, mental health problems, and the ability to exercise well.

In addition to this, your diet and nutrition should support a healthy sleep cycle to be fully optimised for performance in whatever it is you do. Some clients may suggest an appointment before 9am; at this point I might ask their usual sleeping regime. If the answer is around midnight, the next thing to take into consideration is that the client is likely to still be in sleep deprivation recovery by the time of the meeting. This may not be the case however, as there are a minute number of people who only require a small number of hours of sleep to function optimally.

The message is to essentially negotiate a pattern with your body that works for you. If you are failing to retain concentration at work or struggling to engage with others, and can’t pinpoint why, sleep deprivation could be the reason.

Anne Taylor is an Executive Coach at DIRECTions Coaching who is certified and accredited to work with employers, employees, teams and job candidates throughout London. Each day is spent helping clients make the next step in life, to make the right choices and develop the right skills for performance. If you think you could benefit from Anne’s experience, feel free to get in touch on 020 3151 6830.