Sleep and exercise both play essential roles in supporting various aspects of brain function, improving concentration and productivity. There are many things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep and the subsequent restfulness, ranging from getting a goose down duvet to reducing caffeine in the afternoon. Exercise also enhances your sleep quality, so you wake rested and are more constructive the following day.
Here, we run through everything you need to know about the importance of sleep and exercise for productivity.
How do sleeping habits affect productivity?
Getting enough sleep has a drastic effect on the brain and your abilities.
Good sleep habits can:
- Improve problem-solving skills
- Enhance memory
- Boost concentration
- Raise cognition
- Improve performance
- Boost productivity
In contrast, if you don’t get enough sleep, brain function and decision-making skills will become impaired, making it challenging to remain productive. This can have significant consequences on how much and how effectively you can work. One study showed that doctors with moderate, high, and very high sleep deprivation were 54%, 96%, and 97% more likely to report clinically significant medical errors.
How does exercise increase productivity?
Not only does exercise keep you healthy, but it can also improve productivity in all aspects of your life.
Exercise gives you more energy to go about the tasks and your work for the day. Getting active increases your energy capacity. This will combat fatigue and make each day more productive.
Working out also improves mental capacity. Exercise keeps blood, glucose and oxygen pumping to the brain. This helps to remove the ‘brain fog’ so you can think more clearly. Once your brain can perform at total capacity, you will focus more, concentrate better, and make sounder decisions.
Exercise is proven to reduce stress, making your workday a calmer, more enjoyable and productive experience. Research shows that something as simple as taking a walk-in nature, still offers significant stress relief and increases creativity.
Exercising releases endorphins into the body, boosting your mood. This is essential if you’re going to be more effective and efficient.
Exercising at work?
Understanding the benefits exercise has on employee productivity, more and more companies are giving employees opportunities to exercise at work. Google and Nike have in-office gyms and exercise classes for their employees, and many offices are following suit.
Tips for boosting productivity
Better sleep will ultimately go on to help improve your productivity and your output at work; feeling more rested and relaxed, you will find that concentrating and focusing become increasingly easy. Whether you work in a bank and help people to borrow money (source: Kallyss) or you work in a less public facing role, sleep will always serve to benefit you and your job productivity.
Consistent sleeping pattern
You can develop a consistent sleeping pattern by setting the alarm to wake up and go to bed at the same time each day. This routine will allow you to perform more effectively in your daily tasks.
Before going to sleep, try to help your mind prepare for bed. You should avoid blue light from your phone, TV and computer. Blue light stimulates the brain making it more difficult to fall asleep. Instead of using technology, find a relaxing activity for your bedtime routine. Perhaps you’ll take a warm bath, meditate, read or listen to music.
Take a look at other sleep hygiene practices. It can be highly beneficial to avoid nicotine and caffeine before bed. These are both stimulants that can keep you up at night. Heavy meals and alcohol are also not recommended as these also disrupt sleep.
Make time to exercise
Set aside 30 minutes daily to exercise or be outdoors, such as walking, yoga or swimming. This is an excellent step to improve productivity, your overall mood and the quality of your sleep.
If your schedule doesn’t allow for a daily workout, try some simple lifestyle habits to get you more active throughout your day. You could ditch the car and walk or cycle to work, take the stairs instead of the escalators or try using a stand-up desk.