Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

One of our team members has recently finished the book Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker, which is an intriguing read that discusses why sleep is so critical to health and productivity at work. A lack of sleep is a silent productivity killer, costing the US economy up to an estimated $411 billion a year. While the book covers many different interesting facts, we thought that three were particularly thought-provoking. First, sleep is linked with unethical behaviour, and research finds that those who sleep six hours or less are more likely to be deviant and lie the following day. Second, quality of sleep for CEOs and supervisors significantly predicted self-control and abusive management behaviour the following day. Finally, sleeping poorly also resulted in a lack of job engagement throughout the day, with those who obtained less sleep choosing to tackle less challenging problems, opting for the easy way out, and generating fewer creative solutions. So, what can organizations do to prevent these negative outcomes? Some suggestions for fostering a more healthy and productive workplace include implementing flexible start and end times to match employees’ unique circadian rhythms, as well as educating management about the detriments to pulling “all-nighters”.