Alaska Sleep Education Center

How Sleep Quality and Quantity Affects an Employee's Performance

Posted by Liz Thomson on Jun 13, 2021 3:11:00 PM

Young man falling asleep at work

In most cases, many organizations focus on managing their employees’ talents, enhancing their effectiveness, streaming operations, or managing talent. In a 2020 research examining the quality of sleep for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Bahrain, it found out that poor sleep quality and stress are typical during the pandemic.

About 60% of respondents were having poor sleep quality coupled with severe to moderate anxiety.

How do sleep quality and quantity affect productivity at the workplace?

In industries having a workforce from a white label link building agency to logistics companies, sleep deprivation can affect employee performance in various ways. In addition, it can bring certain dangers to the workers, including:

●      Performance deterioration

An employee's performance decline can include a slower response to time, decreased vigilance, and increased compensatory work duties. These workers might not notice their decline in their performance and may have poor insight into their performance deficits. It also gets worse with more responsibilities piling up.

●      Driving impairments

Most trucking industries are aware of the relationship between quality of sleep and work performance. Likewise, they are aware of how sleep deprivation impairs their driving. But plant managers might not be mindful that these sleep-deprived people are dangerously operating these machines and vehicles.

Studies have shown that any form of sleep deprivation poses a significant cognitive risk in performing ordinary tasks in the workplace.

●      A rise in the number of errors

Poor sleep quality and quantity leads to an increase in the number of errors on tasks because of the cognitive detriment of sleep deprivation. These errors include the omission and commission of responsibilities which can wreak havoc on any workplace.

The errors mainly occur on subject-paced and time-sensitive tasks because of the slowing of the cognitive function.

●      Poor communication

A tired worker can lead to poor communication habits. Research has found that sleep-deprived workers reduce their voice intensity, pause for long periods with no apparent reason, mispronounce words, are inaudible, and might lose their place in sentence sequence.

Steps companies can take to promote sleep first, then work culture

Businesses can encourage employees to have quality sleep instead of burning the candle on two ends. Adding a few of these, if not all, would help.

Environmental steps

  • Providing workspaces with natural lighting
  • Offering rooms for naps the company could furnish from an online mattress store
  • Provision of easy access to water and healthy food options

Providing rewards and incentives

  • These include providing educational programs on sleep and forming programs that incentivize sleep.

Policy on technology

  • Limiting after hour emails
  • Discouraging after-hours Skype or video calls


Having poor sleep quality and quantity affects employees in various ways. If you look back at history, there's evidence of how fatigue played a role in some of the world's major disasters. Long periods of sleep debt can lead to sleep deprivation that affects your overall normal body function. Therefore, it would be best not to underestimate the power of sleep.

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