An exploration of sleep and insomnia, with a single destination in mind:
a good night's sleep.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Didn't Get A Good Night's Sleep? Take a Sleep Sick Day

by Bill Adler

If you slept badly or not at all, you're going to be worthless at work.

A sleep sick day will do you a world of wonder. Photo by
martinak15. Licensed under Creative Commons. 
Sure, you may be able to go through the motions, but let's face it, without sleep, your nose is going to mostly be planted on your desk for the day. And if you do somehow manage to keep your eyes open, your productivity's going to be subpar. Very sub. Put bluntly, you're going to make a lot of mistakes and embarrass the hell out of yourself. Even normal actions, like being able to read facial expressions fall by the wayside when you're sleep deprived.

The solution? Take a sleep day. Take a sick day. Think of it as a sleep sick day. Being severely sleep deprived is equivalent to being sick as far as your ability to do good work is concerned. And as you know, coffee's power to make transform your body and mind into an energized human being is limited.

But even more significant than failing your employer when you don't get enough sleep are the health problems that sleep deprivation causes. These include weight gain, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, a lack of sex drive, accelerated skin aging, and premature death. Do you think that cold's bad? Lack of sleep is even worse for your body because sleep deprivation's adverse health effects are both acute and cumulative. In every way that matters, being sleep deprived is the equivalent of being sick with the potential to become even sicker.

What should you do during your sleep day? Nap, of course. Read in bed and fall asleep reading. Watch a movie and fall asleep watching. Play with your dog or cat and let them cuddle next to you after you fall asleep play together. You don't need to commit to a specific number of hours when you're trying to catch up on sleep: Research shows that some sleep is better than no sleep. You can make temporary use of polyphasic sleep, the practice of sleeping for short intervals during a 24 hour period.

Don't feel guilty about taking a sleep day. Rest, close your eyes, become normal again. You'll not only do your employer a favor, but you'll help keep yourself healthy.

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