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Why you need lots of good quality sleep

Sleep loss affects work performance, ethics, memory and health.

Sleep is hugely under-rated as a cognitive enhancer – proper sleep is a necessity for learning and memory, processes at the core of cognition writes Professor Shane O’Mara.
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But sleep has lots more functions than enhancing cognition.

Insomnia is a grim condition, and sleep deprivation causes all sorts of interesting problems, not least at work. The sleep-deprived are at much greater risk of behaving unethically: “… sleep quantity is positively related to self-control resources and negative associated with unethical behavior.

In a cross-sectional field study examining unethical behavior in a variety of work settings, low levels of sleep, and low perceived quality of sleep, were both positively related to unethical behavior as rated by the supervisor, and cognitive fatigue mediated the influence of sleep quantity. In an experience sampling field study, we found similar effects within-individuals.” (pdf). Without sufficient sleep, you are much more likely to take dodgy short-cuts – ones that you would not contemplate if you were properly rested.

The sleep-deprived are more likely to suffer occupational injurieseven on oil rigsAdditionally, “sleep timing and duration affect a number of endocrine, metabolic, and neurological functions that are critical to the maintenance of individual health. If left untreated, sleep disorders and chronic short sleep are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes”.

World Sleep Survey

The World Sleep Survey is the largest ever survey of the world’s sleep. The results will be used to aid research by some of the world’s leading sleep scientists and raise the profile of the importance of sleep. You can take the survey here.

Reposted from Shane O’Mara’s blog with permission.

Shane is a Professor of Experimental Brain Research in Trinity College Dublin. He is a Principal Investigator in, and currently the Director of, the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and a member of the academic staff of the School of Psychology. Professor Shane O’Mara will be the keynote speaker at the IMI’s Organisational Development Forum taking place on October 23rd 2014. The IMI Organisational Development Forum is made up of a select group of Human Resources professionals from some of Ireland’s most progressive companies. The insights generated from this session will be turned into an infographic and shared here.

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