Without sleep, both physical and cognitive performance are impaired, which can lead to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and a poorly functioning immune system in general.

The busier we get, the lower a priority sleep seemingly becomes. As a society, we have come to view ‘powering through’ with little sleep as a sign of strength. Yet sleep is one of the body’s most important physiological processes. Sleep allows both the body and the mind to recharge. It is also a time for the body to repair itself, staving off disease. Without sleep, both physical and cognitive performance are impaired. A chronic lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and a poorly functioning immune system in general.


Have you noticed a decline in your productivity at work? Do you feel your creativity waning? How often do you find yourself working long into the night only to find that presentation or proposal you’ve worked on is mediocre at best?

For years, there has been a misconception in the work mindset that assumes the longer and harder we work each day, the greater our accomplishments. Unfortunately, the quantity of hours worked does not translate to the quality of work produced. How can we ensure the hours spent at a laptop or in meetings yield the greatest amount of productivity and highest quality outcomes? By getting enough sleep!

It’s no secret that sleep is important for maintaining physical, mental and emotional health. And yet we are faced with a paradoxical relationship between sleep and work: we don’t sleep well when stressed from work, but then become less productive at work due to poor sleep! This exhausting cycle continues until both work productivity and personal health suffer.

The effect of sleep on work performance is well documented in the research. Sufficient sleep has been shown to boost focus, creativity, memory recall, productivity and problem-solving capabilities. And when you sleep, the mind continues to work and make connections that you may not have been able to form during waking hours.


Set firm work-life boundaries: You may feel that taking work home with you is necessary to finish the job. Perhaps you feel you don’t have a choice. But this practice of blending work and home life will not be helpful for work-life balance, and may disrupt sleep and perpetuate a vicious cycle. Make clear boundaries on what work tasks are acceptable to take home, and designate time to relax and wind down in the evening. This includes turning off message alerts on your phone and not checking emails, which can quickly put you back into work mode.

Limit disruptive habits: Work stressors can lead to self-comforting behaviours in the evening, including emotional eating or drinking alcohol. Although this may provide some temporary relief, it can disrupt quality of sleep and contribute to decreased work efficiency and productivity, thus leading back to the need for comforting habits. Find constructive ways to deal with stress, such as yoga, meditation and breathing, or light physical activity. Talk with a therapist or healthcare professional if you need help managing stress.