A good night’s sleep is good for the bottom line

Survey finds that lack of sleep results in 48 million hours of lost productivity each week
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 11/16/2005

More than half of Canadians confess a poor night's sleep results in a less productive day, according to a recent survey.

According to the poll, one-third of employees battle fatigue at work between 3 and 10 hours each week. That translates into as many as 48 million hours of lost productivity.

The Better Sleep Council Canada, which conducted the poll, stresses the importance of focusing not just on the quantity, but the quality of sleep you get each night.

"Daylight Savings time is the perfect time of year to improve your sleep habits," said Gary Baskerville of the Better Sleep Council Canada. "Quality sleep can affect so many aspects of our lives — work, family and social — so any effort we can take to improve it will help in more ways than one."

According to the poll, a bad night's sleep won’t keep Canadians out of the office. Forty per cent said they'll still go to work, but won't be as efficient as usual. Those aged 18-24 feel the effects of sleep the most and almost half of Quebecers worry about daytime productivity. Only one per cent of respondents said they would call in sick after a sleepless night.

About one-third of Canadians said Monday is their sleepiest work day. The afternoon between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. is the least productive time of day with 38 per cent of respondents saying that’s when they’re most tired.

Managers can help employees handle these sleepy times by planning for them. If an employee knows that Monday is his sleepiest day, he can prepare for it by working an extra hour or two on Friday when he’s more productive.

Taking breaks during the day — to go outside for fresh air or a walk — can increase a tired employee’s productivity and should be encouraged according to the Better Sleep Council.

To make the most of your sleep to ensure a productive and manageable day at work, the council has these tips:

•Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.

•Turn off work distractions in your bedroom, including computers, cell phones and pagers.

•Before going to bed, unwind from your day by relaxing with a good book or a warm bath.

•If you're relying on five or six cappuccinos to get you through the day, you may need to re-evaluate your sleep habits.

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