Is Lack Of Sleep Affecting Your Work?

17 August, 2016

Martina Misar-Tummeltshammer

Yesterday on my way to the airport I was trippy, giggly, babbly and weepy. I wasn’t drunk. I was running on a few nights of 4 to 5 hours sleep.

Call it synchronicity that while gulping down a tall Americano I flipped through the latest copy of Longevity magazine, an entire issue dedicated to the topic-of-the-moment, sleep deprivation.

Arianna Huffington collapsed from exhaustion in 2007. Ever since then she’s been on a crusade to educate the public on the importance of sleep. No longer should it be worn as a badge of honour, but rather seen as “the new smoking”. It’s killing us.

Enlightened early adopters brag about climbing into bed at 8.30pm. Others admit to scorning late night emails. I think they’re onto something.

Scientific studies show that lack of sleep leads to the following conditions. See how many apply to you:

  • Increases blood pressure. Mine’s low, so okay here.
  • Difficulty breathing. I now carry an asthma pump with me when I go running.
  • Weight gain. When I put my hands on my hips, they (my hands) are definitely further apart than they used to be.
  • Increases heart strain. Does this account for the difficulty I have keeping up with my contemporaries in the pool?
  • Impairs cellular repair. The reason I’m looking old?
  • Suppresses satiety hormone. Those hips again.
  • Increases stress hormones. I’m busy, okay? OKAY?
  • Reduces drive for physical activity. You expect me do to WHAT?
  • Reduces responsiveness. Definitely firing at a slower speed.
  • Impairs learning and memory. What was I looking for again?
  • Increases appetite. Oh yes, food.

To make it worse, sleep deprivation in women – especially women who have to juggle multiple roles – sets the scene for a variety of illnesses like diabetes and cancer.

So with all this evidence, why don’t we just go to bed? Because we’re in a culture of do, achieve, produce, create, respond, activate. Added to this, when we’re sleep deprived our ability to discern what’s actually important shrinks. Suddenly everything is important.

We’ve grown to believe that less sleep equals more success.


My lawyer friend, the same one I quoted in this article, greeted me yesterday with “I’m no fun to be around. Let me make a blanket statement right now that whatever I say, it’s not your fault. I’m grumpy because I haven’t had any sleep.”

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

And I hope it makes you sleep.

With love, and 8 hours between the sheets,

Robyn x

Robyn Young - Personal Leadership Branding for Executives

About the Author

Robyn Young

As a personal leadership branding strategist, Robyn Young helps individuals identify and articulate their unique strengths, values and goals, empowering them to build an authentic personal brand that resonates with their stakeholders.

Robyn has a keen eye for aligning personal attributes with professional aspirations, helping her clients project a powerful and compelling image in their chosen field.