How Can a 16 Minute Sleep Deficit Affect Work performance? | Flo Mattress
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Research Suggests even 16 Minute Sleep Deficit Can Affect your Work Performance

A study published in the Journal of sleep health in the recent past has taken the internet by storm. In this study, 130 employees working in Information Technology and a child were deprived of just 16 minutes of sleep. The result was a direct effect on their levels of cognition the next day. This snowballed into increased stress and a hampered sleep cycle as well.

Who would think just 16 minutes of sleep deprivation can lead to so many issues. But, it does. So, what can be the effects of such a small amount of sleep deficit and how can we overcome the same, discover more in this blog.

Effects of sleep deprivation on work performance -

  1. Poor performance and productivity- When we sleep for a lesser time the mind isn't refreshed. So, when faced with tasks that require understanding, comprehension, and action the mind is unable to respond. Lack of sleep can also lead to forgetfulness and memory lapse. When an employee faces the above repercussions from sleep the road only leads to poor performance and decreased productivity.

  • Increased stress- When an individual is unable to perform effectively at work, it increases stress. Apart from impacting relations at work and home, stress also causes hormonal imbalance which leads to further complications of mind and body.

  • Reduced creativity- for the mind to be at its creative best, sleep is very important. Creative thinking is associated with the right side of the brain. Studies suggest that when we are well rested we are able to “listen” better to the right side of our brain. When there is sleep deprivation this process is hampered and hence creativity also takes a beating.

  • Inability to multi-task and make decisions: When one is sleep deprived the brain can process only limited information at a time. This can affect the skills of multi-tasking. And since cognition and comprehension are affected decision making isn’t always right. It has been seen that sleep-deprived people tend to take unnecessary risks. At work level, risks may not be in favor of projects or the people working in them.

  • These are some of the effects of sleep deprivation on work performance. Besides these, it has been seen that such people are less co-operative, less focused, prone to be irritated, and also prone to miss work due to health issues.

    Can organizations help in reducing sleep deprivation?

    Employers and organizations play a very important role in ensuring that their workforce gets adequate sleep. Some of the steps that organizations can take in this direction to balance work and life are:

    • Make sure everyone leaves work on-time
    • Do not encourage emails to be sent after working hours
    • Discourage late night calls. For global calls that happen out of work hours, encourage calls without the computer.
    • Provide naturally lit workspaces if possible
    • Easy access to water, beverage, and tryptophan-rich snacks. Tryptophan is an amino acid that promotes sleep. Snacking on these foods ensures that sleep cycle is normal.
    • Emphasize the need for sleep through talks and lectures with sleep experts.
    • Have flexible work timings so that a person can work at a time when he/she is most productive.

    These may sound revolutionary and impractical. But taking baby steps in the right direction can help employees stay healthier and be more productive too. More and more companies that focus on productivity than just filling work hours are focusing on these steps worldwide.

    Good Sleep Habits

    For employees, there are a few habits that you can develop to ensure quality sleep for the right amount of time

    • Shut off tablets, computers, and Television an hour before sleep. Reading is a better habit and promotes sleep.
    • Keep all electronic gadgets out of the bedroom
    • Mute your phones. Do not let the WhatsApp notification ruin your sleep.
    • Use the traditional alarm rather than the alarm on your phone. That way your dependency on the phone reduces further.
    • Keep fixed routines for the evening. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.


    A well-rested workforce is the biggest asset for any organization. Sleep is critical factor for health and function for adolescents and children equally. For children it sleep deficit can also result in growth-related issues. A sustained sleep deficit can also result in health issues like weight gain, insomnia, heart problems and other major disorders/ diseases that require medical attention. Sleep is important.

    Invest in a comfortable and supportive mattress like FLO mattress. Don’t just read reviews online, but try it out yourself with 100 nights sleep trial today!

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