There is no argument that we are more productive when we are well rested. The simple fact is…when you are tired you make mistakes. And when you make mistakes it A-makes you look bad and B-makes you have to go back and spend time on something twice… when you could be moving on to the next logical step in your project.
When you push yourself to meet a deadline by working thru the night, your brain has to prioritize its focus on the area of your brain that keeps you awake. When it is doing that, the parietal and occipital lobes in your brain become less active.
Your parietal lobe is where your cognitive thinking happens. It integrates sensory information to form a single perception. When this lobe is compromised you may start to feel disoriented. It also controls your ability to read, write and perform math calculations.
Your occipital lobe is responsible for deciphering what your eyes are seeing.
A BBC study examining “How Can An Extra Hour’s Sleep Change You” found:
What you may not know is that lack of sleep is not only detrimental to your work productivity but to your overall health and happiness, as well.
Insufficient sleep reduces the amount of glucose that reaches your brain, which is why you crave sweets when you are tired. This could explain why, in our sleep-deprived society, we have seen a substantial increase in obesity and diabetes.
During REM (rapid eye movement), which are the portions of the night when you dream, there is a chemical in the brain, that is responsible for stress, that is switched off. It is switched off so your brain can be calm and have the ability to process through and come to terms with all the things you’ve experienced that day, especially emotional events.
When you lose out on one or more phases of REM sleep during the night, you can wake up feeling stressed, grumpy and anxious which can lead to the feeling of “getting up on the wrong side of the bed” and/or feeling “burnt out” and unenthusiastic about your work or even life in general.
Basically when you’re sleep deprived your temper suffers, your diet suffers and most of all you have the tendency to make bad decisions.
So the next time you are tempted to sacrifice sleep (maybe thinking that a cup of coffee will replace much needed sleep) know that in the long run you will probably produce a better outcome on whatever you are working on, if you choose sleep and give your brain the time it needs to renew itself and in return it can energize you to work at your peak capacity.