Get a Good Nights Sleep

The copy editor must be nodding off on the job again. Did you notice the missing apostrophe in the title, “Good Nights Sleep?” If you didn’t catch the error, you probably need a good night’s sleep. Small mistakes like this are easy to make when we’re sleep deprived, but losing sleep is far more serious that we may realize. Lack of a good night’s sleep is costing this country money, productivity and valuable creative ideas.

 We’re falling asleep on the job

It’s scary when a commercial airline pilot falls asleep while flying the plane, but what about when both the pilot and the co-pilot drift off in the middle of the flight together, while the plane is on autopilot? Driving while sleepy is worse that drunk driving. The CDC estimates 5-6,000 fatal crashes per year in the U.S. due to [popup url=http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsdrowsydriving/ height=”500″width=”460”]drowsy driving.[/popup] A majority of U.S. workers are flying on autopilot. Recent studies find that increasingly more workers fall asleep on the job. Our workdays are too long; we try to stay awake with caffeine and sugar; we don’t use all of our vacation time and even while on vacation, we do emails.

 Sleep deprivation costs money

American corporations are losing money by overworking their employees. In a 2010 study, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine estimated a $1967 per employee annual loss due to sleep deprivation. That adds up to billions of dollars of capital lost per year, just because workers are working too much and zoning out on the job rather than being productive. Even burglars can’t burgle properly when sleep deprived. It’s not good for his trade when a [popup url=http://ktla.com/2014/01/12/police-man-fell-asleep-while-burglarizing-santa-ana-home/ height=”500″ width=”460”]burglar falls asleep[/popup] in the middle of a robbery. In this case, the terrified homeowners identified the thief, who was happily curled up at the end of their bed, as a neighbor. The police recovered the stolen goods and ended the burglar’s career by putting him in prison.

 The Energy Project

We’ve got an epidemic of too much work and not enough rest in this country. Ironically, the perception is that if you rest, you’re lazy. The busier you are, the more valuable you must be. Yet some of the most dynamic, productive people insist that if you don’t rest, you aren’t worth much at all. Tony Schwartz evangelizes corporate America with The Energy Project, his training initiative aimed at: “Building policies, practices and communities that support a better way of working.” His company website, [popup url=http://theenergyproject.com/key-ideas/ height=”500″ width=”460”]theenergyproject.com[/popup] states, “We are not meant to run at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time.”

 Sleep makes you more productive

Schwartz actually teaches corporations that they can’t afford not to sleep. Employees may work fewer hours, but when they do work, they’re more creative and productive. Schwartz validates his training with increased profits and lower employee turnover for his clients. We can’t afford not to get a good nights sleep good night’s sleep. Creative energy is a limited resource that has to be sustained and renewed. In order for employees to be productive, they have to recharge. Any corporation that can’t recognize that is just operating on autopilot.