You hear it often – that sleep improves productivity. However, it might never have occurred to you that the reverse is true – that productivity improves sleep. That’s why staying productive is fundamental to living your best life. In this article, you’ll learn the relationship between sleep and productivity and how each affects the other.
How Good Sleep and Productivity Create a Cycle
Numerous studies show that sleep improves productivity. This article on how proper sleep improves productivity explains it all. In this case, good sleep should be long enough for an adult (seven to nine hours per day), high quality (falling sleep within 30 minutes of getting in bed and uninterrupted), and your sleep plus waking time should be consistent.
The main reason why good sleep makes you productive is because your body systems rejuvenate as the full stages of sleep unfold.
Productivity, on the other end of the spectrum, improves your sleep. In a TEDx talk on The Science of Sleep (and the Art of Productivity) by Dr. Matthew Carter, a sleep researcher explained that if you aren’t productive, you feel the need to deprive yourself of sleep so you can do the things you haven’t. However, if you continue working while sleep-deprived, you would be less productive, losing efficiency, getting carried away by distractions, making errors and many other consequences. This explains the productivity-sleep cycle.
Carter explained this virtuous cycle in a nutshell when he said:
“If you get a good night’s sleep, it makes you have a better day’s wake, makes you more productive and you get more done. But it’s reciprocal. If you are more productive, it actually causes you to have a better night’s sleep. And this is sort of a reinforcing cycle.”
When we know we’ve had a productive day, it’s common to sleep well since all worries about to-do lists are gone, and we believe we’ve done our best. Sleep becomes a rightful reward and also keeps us happy. It’s like eating food after doing a task that uses up your food, like getting good grades for a paper you strived to study for, like earning money for a fulfilling job you did. When you earn your sleep, you feel your best and get the best sleep.
How to Maintain the Productivity-Sleep Cycle
Little has been written about how productivity improves sleep. Even Dr. Carter said he wished he’d known earlier. It’s simple: you need to apply fundamental hacks for attaining productivity and practice good sleeping habits to get quality sleep.
Think about it: if you were to maintain this cycle by reinforcing a productive mindset and getting good sleep, how great will your life be? You’ll get to do what you need to get ahead and enjoy the process while fully rejuvenating body systems at night.
You won’t be perfect always, of course. For situations you caused yourself and those you couldn’t control, you may not be able to maintain sleep and productivity. Sometimes you have to apply this advice on how to deal with little sleep and stay productive. But most other times, you need to get enough sleep to avoid having to fix unproductivity.
Do you achieve a fairly complete productivity-sleep cycle? If not, apply good productivity and sleeping habits and let us know your results.