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Losing just 16 minutes of sleep during working days can greatly hamper your performance at the workplace, say researchers.
University of South Florida (USF) researchers, in a paper published in the journal Sleep Health, noted that workers are more likely to have poor judgment and fall "off-task" the next day if they lose even minimal on sleep.
"Findings from this study provide empirical evidence for why workplaces need to make more efforts to promote their employees' sleep," said lead author Soomi Lee, assistant professor from the School of Aging Studies at the university.
To reach this conclusion, Lee and her colleagues surveyed 130 healthy employees who work in IT and have at least one school-going child.
Participants reported that when they slept 16 minutes less than usual and had worse quality sleep, they experienced more cognitive issues the next day.
That raised their stress levels, especially regarding issues related to work-life balance, resulting in them going to bed earlier and waking up earlier due to fatigue.
"Good sleepers may be better performers at work due to greater ability to stay focused on-task with fewer errors and interpersonal conflicts," Lee noted, stressing that sleep loss could be the difference between a clear-headed day at the office or one filled with distractions.
The cyclical associations reflect that employees' sleep is vulnerable to daily cognitive stress and also a contributor to cognitively stressful experiences, Lee added.
Researchers also compared work-days to weekends.
They found that the consequences of less sleep are not as apparent when one has the next day off from work.