How often are you tossing and turning while lying awake in bed? Is it because you can’t help but think of your pending deadlines? Doing that would exacerbate your sleep even further. All of us aspire to win our own rat race, but we tend to forget the fundamental need for sleep. We must not forget that having a good night’s rest is key to excelling in professional life and in fact life as a whole.

Have you realized that your daily performance is heavily determined by the quantity and quality of sleep you had the night before? It is common knowledge that if you sleep less, you are not able to perform optimally, making you incapable of coping with work pressure. One thing leads to another and you just can’t help but take the stress. What good is stress anyway?

Let’s get familiar with a few consequences of not having a good night’s sleep.

You become less productive

Most of us know that lack of sleep decreases your brain activity and function. Science has proven this over and over again. A study published in the Journal of Sleep Research shows that functioning of brain regions such as the thalamus and prefrontal cortex that is involved in alertness, attention, and cognition is compromised if you are sleep-deprived even on a short-term basis. This suppresses your alertness and capabilities of decision-making, and problem-solving. Your cognitive ability, which is closely associated with your memory, is affected to a large extent. It also affects your ability to retain information and is proven to be detrimental in taking strategic decisions at the workplace. If you continue ignoring your sleep and push your body to its limit, you might even face burnout at your job. This way you are not only harming yourself but also your organization.

You become irritable

All of us get moody at some of the other points but if you feel snappy or frustrated and get irritated easily, please don’t ignore these symptoms. Have you ever wondered as why you are not able to regulate your emotions even after having just one sleepless night? Reports from a study published in the journal Current Biology suggest that lack of sleep makes you more prone to negative emotional reactions. This is because of an almond-shaped region, amygdala, in our brain that increases emotional instability. You may experience behavioral outbursts such as over-reactivity, getting cynical, unwilling to listen to your colleagues, and avoiding interaction with your coworkers. Only one or two such outbursts are enough to make disruptions in your work life and worsen your work environment.

You become indecisive

Quality is demanded in all spheres of life, and each one of us tries to be perfect in whatever we do, be it at the workplace or at home. Being spot on not only gives you confidence but also a zeal to perform better the next time. It is possible only if your biological clock (circadian cycle) maintains a good rhythm in terms of sleeping and alertness hours. If you sleep well, you feel fresh and active which is reflected in your day-to-day decisions but if you don’t sleep well, you aren’t creative and attentive enough to take small or big decisions. If this continues for an extended period, it can greatly impact your overall quality of life.

You put a big question mark on your own capabilities

There are some days when you try very hard, but you are still not able to perform optimally. If you have such days, you wouldn’t have thought that one of the key reasons for this is insomnia. During such days, you might doubt your own capabilities, leaving you unsettled. Self-doubt fills you with negative emotions and worsens your performance even more.

With a rigorous drive to earn more, you might push yourself to work more and not take proper rest. But by neglecting sleep, you may end up bearing very high healthcare costs. This may be because of long-term consequences which can be as hazardous as having an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, infertility, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other chronic illnesses. Moreover, it weakens your immune system thereby making you vulnerable to a whole spectrum of infections and other diseases.

It has been reported that almost half the Indian population sleeps less than six hours a night and shows sleep deprivation symptoms. It’s high time that we gave a thought to how sleep-deprived we are, and how much our work and health suffers because of it.

If you want to take the matter in your own hands, try this herbal skin patch - Restopatch - which is really easy to use and has zero side-effects. As a first of its kind in India, this patch has been made with patented technology that allows you to sleep gradually and naturally due to the sustained release of its active ingredients over several hours. So just apply it directly on your skin and sleep tight!

Dr. Avani Shukla
Ph.D. in Molecular Neurobiology
International Max Planck Research School
Göttingen, Germany