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Sleepy Employees and Their Effect on the Economy

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Most adults don’t get a healthy amount of sleep. In fact, less than a third of South Africans get a full eight hours. While the lingering feeling of exhaustion can be personally frustrating, the effect it can have on the economy can be even more significant.

Sleep deprivation negatively impacts worker health and productivity and has ended up costing the South African economy billions.

Employees who don’t get enough sleep typically have trouble focusing on their work due to mental exhaustion. A tired mind has slower processing speeds, lowered multitasking ability, shorter memory, and decreased ability to collaborate with teammates.

These effects can severely lengthen the amount of time it takes to complete a task. In fact, a 2011 research study found that bad sleeping habits cause eleven days-worth of lost productivity for the average worker.

On a small scale, this can stall production levels within a company. When the majority of workers lack focus, however, significant slowdowns accumulate and cause less money to be poured back into the economy from workers and businesses alike.

Sleep doesn’t just affect mental power, either. Physicians recommend that the average adult gets eight hours of sleep a night because getting too little has been linked to serious health issues and even fatal diseases like cancer and stroke. When workers are sick or leave work, their employers often have to scramble to compensate for their missed assignments. This can draw attention away from other important tasks and quickly become expensive, especially with the cost it takes to hire and train replacements.

If a company is continuously working to battle absenteeism, they might not be able to pay their employees as much or keep up with an evolving economy.

Do your part to protect the economy: make sure you’re getting enough sleep.

 Luckily, there are several ways to ensure you’re getting healthy levels of rest. Here are three tips on how to get enough sleep every night:

  • Separate your work and home life, especially at night. It’s important to clear your head before bedtime in order to de-stress and fall asleep. Try to avoid working in your bedroom and instead allow it to be a sleep sanctuary. Replace your lap desk and bright reading lamp with cozy pillows and sleep-protective red lamp in order to relax and fall asleep on time.
  • Start taking a midday nap. A quick, 20-minute nap has been shown to restore focus and improve alertness. Plus, you don’t necessarily need to work from home to be able to get in a midday snooze. As long as you don’t nap within three hours of bed, you can sleep before dinner or during your lunch break.
  • Increase your melatonin levels. Melatonin is the hormone that balances your sleep rhythms and can be supplemented with nutritional bedtime snacks. Broccoli, grapes, and oats are all excellent, natural sources of the hormone.

A healthy economy depends on productive, alert workers, so it’s important for you to look after your wellbeing and sleep schedule. Make sure you’re getting proper rest so you can return to work each day mentally and physically prepared to achieve success and support the economy.


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