Working When Sleep Deprived
The CDC recommends between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night for adults, but many are falling short of this. And once sleeplessness becomes a pattern, you may not even realize your performance of daily tasks becomes impaired.
This is what happens to your brain when you work on less than 6 hours of sleep:
You're distracted. Are you repeatedly switching from tab to tab on your browser, unable to focus? That could be a response to sleep deprivation. One way your brain tries to keep you awake is to constantly look for distractions, impacting your ability to focus on a task.
You're anxious. If you feel on edge at work, lack of sleep may be the source. The world can feel like a minefield of danger and stressful situations after a night of getting too little sleep.
You're angrier. It only takes a few lost hours of sleep for your mood to change for the worse. You may find that you feel more anger and distress over everyday nuisances like an uncomfortable shirt or unexpected weather.
You're less patient with colleagues. When you're sleep deprived, the prefrontal cortex of the brain suffers, which is the region responsible for self-control. This can lead to irritability, less patience and the inability to use self-control to guide actions.
You take bigger risks. Chronic sleep deprivation can alter your behavior in less obvious ways by driving you to make riskier decisions.