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5 signs you need more shut-eye

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Robert Lentz

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers

A good night’s sleep helps with job performance, but do you know just how much sleep really counts? Here are the top warning signs you need more than a nap, courtesy of Nectar.

You’re impulsive beyond control. Can’t stop yourself from grabbing all the donuts at your morning meetings? Keep visiting the vending machine for another bag of chips? Sleep deprivation greatly affects the area of your brain associated with judgment and impulse control. Less sleep leads to acting impulsively, e.g. poor eating when sleep deprived.

You’re overusing clichés. If you find yourself robotically using the same opening and closing phrases in emails and on client calls, it may be time to take a nap. Sleep deprivation alters the area of your brain associated with speech, constructive thinking and creativity. With less sleep you’ll find it difficult to come up with something new on the spot.

You’re forgetful. Forgot to join a meeting or send that follow-up email? Blanking out on your new team member’s name? Without proper rest, it’s harder to remember the details.

You’re always arguing. Sleep deprivation negatively affects mood, making you more sensitive to everyday workplace events. Lack of sleep also reduces impulse control, so it can be much harder to be polite or think before you speak. Lack of shut-eye makes it harder to avoid and handle conflict.

You’re being a jerk. Leaders in particular should monitor their sleep habits—lack of sleep contributes to negative leadership. A good leader needs to stay in control, and when lack of sleep affects judgment and impulse, it’s hard to think about the consequences and stop yourself from lashing out.

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Are we entering the golden age of napping?

Google has recently gained attention for its high-tech nap pods. These individual sleeping units block out external stimuli, recline, offer a music option, and include a timer to gently wake up the napper.

But it doesn't take much of a capital investment to provide similar comforts.  “Since we understand employees can get tired, especially mid-week, we’ve set up a bean bag area which is perfect for napping,” says Alexander Winston, managing director at PPC Protect Limited. “Anyone can go over during the day to rest their eyes or catch a quick power nap.”

Joanna Douglas, owner of Clean Affinity Cleaning Service, has a similar low-cost option. “We have a few mats set up in an empty boardroom. I allow my employees to take a quick nap before they serve the next client because it can be very tiring to clean and clean. We have noticed that after the nap they become more alert and more attentive to instructions, which results in good customer feedback for us.”

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