We all know how painful it is to have a poor night’s sleep, or worse, a string of them. What is not as well known, however, is the importance of good sleep to one’s mental health. Poor sleep not only produces problems with mood, productivity, performance, and physical health (Kripke et al., 2002; Sigurdson & Ayas, 2007; Zohar, Tzischinsky, Epstein, & Lavie 2005; ), it is also associated with high rates of anxiety and depression. One large clinical study found that people with insomnia were approximately 10 and 17 times more likely to have depression and anxiety, respectively, than people with healthy sleep (Taylor, Lichstein, Durrence, Reidel, & Bush, 2005). So what explains this overlap and why does it matter?
To succeed in today’s frenetic, 24/7 and interconnected global workplace, adaptability is key. It’s not a question of whether stresses and challenging life events will occur; that’s simply inevitable. The question employers are increasingly asking is: how can they best enable their teams to develop the mental resources they need to maintain peak performance in the face of adversity?
The ingredients of psychological resilience have been the subject of decades of scientific research. While the labels may vary by study, these are the core components which can be considered the building blocks of bouncing back from tough times:
Sleep experts agree that we need at least seven hours of sleep to function at our best. However, if an uninterrupted seven hours of shut-eye sounds like an unusual luxury to you, you’re not alone. In fact, 4 out of 10 adults are sleep deprived and approximately half of those adults have insomnia. Sleep problems impact wide-ranging factors such as mental health, diabetes, cardiovascular health, and obesity and have been linked to 7 of the 15 leading causes of death.
In this blog post, I extract the main findings from my latest white paper, Why Sleep Matters, which references findings from over 50 published academic articles. The results may have you rethinking the next time you skimp on sleep.