How sleep loss can start arguments at work

We all love hardworking employees, colleagues, or bosses.

But sometimes there’s just not enough time to get things done. So, to catch up on work, you sacrifice sleep.

Then, you find yourself too tired to function at your best, or you’re not in your best mood. You might soon realise that there are more arguments than getting work done.

If you value your job and your company, you should value sleep as well. Even a day of insufficient sleep can create a lot of trouble – safety issues, poor decision making, lack of self-control and ability to regulate impulses, health problems, and more. These are all things you wouldn’t want for yourself or the people you work with in your company.

The link between sleep and mood

We all know how it feels when we lack sleep – we’re usually very irritable, slow to anger, and more hostile. We may not be aware of it at the moment, but the people around you are. Maybe it’s not you who’s irritable, angry, or hostile, but your co-worker. Most likely it’s because they lack sleep.

The effect of sleep on your mood is very significant. The less sleep you get, the more negative your attitude will be. That is because of the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that processes emotions (particularly fear and anxiety), responds substantially to negative stimuli.

>> See also: How Does Sleep Loss Affect Your View of Right and Wrong?

It causes us to be more reactive, and most of the time it’s a negative reaction. In other words, people who have sleep loss have less self-control of their emotions and are more impulsive – which are ingredients for arguments at work.

Just as lack of sleep affects mood, mood also affects our sleep pattern. When we have all these negative feelings, we either have a difficult time falling asleep, or it affects the quality of our sleep. It creates an “insufficient sleep and negative mood” cycle that is quite difficult to get out of, which affects our work. Lack of sleep also links with  depression and anxiety.

Click here for an interactive body map of how sleep deprivation affects the body.

The link between sleep and productivity

Sleep is a time for the body to rejuvenate, especially physically and mentally. When we don’t get enough, we can’t exactly work at our best because our mind and body won’t cooperate. Lack of sleep leads to difficulty in concentrating, difficulty in remembering and taking in information, and disrupts the thought process. Not only does that affect productivity, but the quality of work is also not at its best when you’re working on lack of sleep.

Another thing is that lack of sleep leads to a slow reaction time. That is especially dangerous for those who drive and for those who work in places that need high-level focus and activity.

Tips to improve sleep habits

The thing you should take away from this is that people work better when they get enough sleep. So, here are some tips for you to improve your sleep habits.

Follow a schedule

Having a schedule keeps you on track. As much as possible, try to doze off at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. It’s a way of conditioning your mind and body, so sleep becomes more natural, requiring less effort to do so. It develops your body clock.

Have a to-do list

Having a to-do list is another way of keeping on track, particularly with your tasks. You can have a daily and weekly basis. Having a to-do list for work, especially if you arrange it according to priority, helps you be more organised and goal oriented. If you suffer from anxiety, a to-do list addresses some of the causes of your stress. You should also set “thinking time” aside for you to address what’s worrying you.

Avoid caffeine in the afternoon

Do I still need to elaborate? Apparently, caffeine keeps you up so if you have trouble sleeping, it’s best you avoid it, especially in the afternoon.


If you want to get some shut eye faster, you should use. And no, we don’t mean working out before bedtime, like your tiring your body out. Sure, it works for some people, but working out before bedtime might over-stimulate the, keeping you awake instead of helping you fall asleep. If you want to get better quality sleep, then exercise regularly.

Create a sleep-conducive environment

A sleep-conducive environment allows you to fall asleep quickly and prevents disruptions. Ideally, it is dark, cold, and noise-free. If you work a night shift, you should get thick and dark curtains or blinds to keep your room dark. If that doesn’t work, you should try eye masks as well.

Another thing you can do is keep your bedroom clean and comfortable so you can sleep better. If you are having problems with noise, get earplugs to help you out.

Avoid working in bed

Your bed should be a place of rest and sleep, not stress and work. I know many people bring their work to bed because it’s comfortable, but that might even work against you. If you do this often, you will begin to associate bed with work, and this might seem like a small matter, but it can affect the quality of your sleep. As much as possible, do not work in bed.

Avoid bringing work home

As much as possible, avoid bringing work home. Keep work at your workplace. Bringing work home is bringing stress home. If you suffer from sleep problems, you should avoid this if you want to improve your sleep habits.

Turn it off

Nope, I’m not talking about the lights (although you should turn that off too). I’m referring to your cell phone, the TV, your tablet, your laptop – any gadget that is keeping you up. The light from these devices/appliances will not help you fall asleep. In fact, in this generation, it’s one of the main things that keep us up. Discipline yourself to do it.

Let your boss know

If you have a healthy and open relationship with your superiors at work, you should be able to take this problem up with them. Even if you didn’t, you should be able to take this up on them. Stress the importance of sleep in connection to productivity and quality of work.

Emphasise the importance of sleep to health and mood, which are both necessary for employment. A healthy workplace should value the workers and be open to discussion to these matters.

Wrapping things up

If you want to avoid arguments at work, to increase productivity, and improve quality of work, then get yourself some sleep. You will feel better and work better when you are well-rested. If you suffer from sleep loss or difficulty in sleeping, follow the steps above to help you out. Sleep is one of the pillars of our health so you must treat with importance.




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