Sleep: a secret weapon to increase productivity!

The last year was difficult for everyone. We have been forced to rethink our professional lives, our hobbies, our physical activities, our nutrition, and our lifestyles in general. Every aspect of our lives has been changed and adapted to our new reality linked to the health crisis.

The lack of certain healthy habits that were previously ingrained in our routines has major impacts on our health, our well-being and even our productivity at work. However, we have in our possession a secret weapon that we often undervalue, and which acts directly on these elements: sleep.

The impact of sleep

Studies[1] show a clear and direct correlation between lack of sleep and the number of errors produced during the day. A person who has 6 hours or less of sleep per night is prone to making 10 mistakes per day. A cumulative decrease in cognitive performance is observed after 14 consecutive days for people with a sleep duration ranging from 4 hours and 6 hours per night. On the other hand, someone who has 8 hours of sleep for 14 consecutive days is subject to making between 1 and 2 errors per day. Sleep therefore comes as a reinforcement to help us be at our best in our daily activities.

How to develop restful sleep

Sleep helps regenerate our body and mind. It is dependent, among other things, on two other important activities: what we eat and our level of physical activity. These directly influence our propensity to have truly restful sleep[2]. Here are some tips that you may find useful:

  1. Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Is it nutritious food and drinks that give you energy or rather empty calories?;
  2. Get 30 minutes of physical activity, such as walking, every day. Do not hesitate to combine one-on-one meetings in the office with a walk outside. The nice weather is coming, what better way to adopt this practice;
  3. Establish a sleep routine that you follow every night. Many people have developed the habit of taking a hot bath and reading a book before falling asleep. This relaxes the body and eliminates the presence of blue light given off by screens which delays our natural sleep cycle;
  4. Create a regular work / rest rhythm that will promote your recovery and sleep time. You will then eliminate the “yo-yo” effect between getting up and going to bed;
  5. Talk to your doctor if you experience persistent sleep disturbances.


Sleep helps reduce errors in the long run, avoids wasting time and energy, and increases our well-being. It should be seen as an effective strategy to maintain your productivity!

By Lyne Desrochers, M. Ed, CRHA, ACC – Professional coach and trainer

RH blog Editor – Iceberg Management  

[1] Hans P.A. Van Dongen, PhD, Greg Maislin, MS, MA, Janet M. Mullington, PhD, David F. Dinges, PhD (2003). “The Cumulative Cost of Additional Wakefulness: Dose-Response Effects on Neurobehavioral Functions and Sleep Physiology From Chronic Sleep Restriction and Total Sleep Deprivation”, Sleep, Vol 26, No2.

[2] Thiébaux, Anaïs (19 mars2020), Sommeil réparateur : phase, bienfaits, comment faire ?, Le journal des femmes – santé.,couche%20et%20on%20se%20r%C3%A9veille