How lack of sleep affects employee performance

When it comes to wanting to succeed and progress in your career, it can be easy to work too hard and fail to prioritize your sleep. It often seems more logical to stay up late working, but it can infringe on your sleep habits and it affects your performance as an employee.

Below, we discuss a few main ways a lack of sleep affects employee performance and can inhibit their ability to contribute to their team.

lack of sleep affects employee performanceA lack of focus or motivation

When feeling fatigued due to a lack of sleep throughout the night, it means having lower energy levels. Employees often have difficulty with mental clarity and don’t feel as motivated to increase their productivity levels. They’re prone to working at a slower pace and can fall behind with their projects and tasks.


When you’re tired, it isn’t easy to feel as upbeat or positive because everything feels like it requires more effort and concentration. The brain fog you experience can lead to irritability and make it difficult to feel cheerful or positive, especially when working with your colleagues or working through challenges throughout the day. Unfortunately, one employee’s irritability can have a negative effect on other individuals in the office, which can affect the tone of the setting. When the employee is a leader, an entire department can suffer from a lack of performance if they’re not feeling motivated or encouraged by their superior or manager.

Leaders who aren’t upbeat or positive can lead to a higher turnover rate in the office and affect the success and productivity of the company.

Skills are affected

Employees’ skills are also affected when they don’t get enough sleep throughout the night, which directly impacts the quality of their work. Sleepiness makes it harder to make decisions or even juggle multiple tasks at once, which means less gets done throughout the day. It can also make it more difficult to find innovative solutions to problems, which may be an integral part of the job. Some people have difficulty assessing risk and anticipating consequences, which can put the company at risk. In fact, when you’re sleep deprived, it’s easier to rush through projects and, unintentionally, skip crucial steps within your normal due diligence process. As a result, your decision-making is impaired and you might end up making expensive mistakes.

Employee performance is also affected by a lack of sleep because it’s harder to display emotional intelligence if you’re sleep-deprived. You may not have enough compassion for other individuals or have enough self-confidence or self-awareness.

Higher stress levels

Heightened stress is one of the most common side effects of failing to get enough sleep. The brain can lack the ability to think clearly and process information, which can cause the individual to feel overwhelmed by their situation and experience more anxiety. This can result in losing patience for themselves or other people, as well as straining relationships with clients or customers.

Heightened stress among employees can also create more chaos in the workplace and prevent the operations from running as smoothly. Employees are less likely to offer their input or participate if they feel overwhelmed. Unfortunately, this can cost employers thousands of dollars each year in loss of productivity.

Declining physical health

A lack of sleep can eventually start to take a toll on the body and weaken the immune system because the body never has time to recharge or repair itself. Employees who are sleep deprived are at a higher risk of getting sick, which can cause them to take more sick days than the average person. They may be more prone to going home early if they’re not feeling well or coming in an hour late. The employer is the one who suffers because they’re not getting as much out of the employee they hired, which can affect the success of the organization.

A lack of sleep can also lead to weight gain, which puts the individual at risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease. Investing in an adjustable bed and a high quality mattress can offer a personalized sleep experience that is specific to your needs and improves your level of comfort. It can make it easier to fall asleep quicker at night and avoid interruptions until your alarm clock goes off in the morning.

Mental health issues

In some cases, a lack of sleep affects the individual’s mental health if the issue becomes prolonged. They may start to have chronic stress or anxiety and can even start to suffer from depression. Some people may even start to rely on prescription medication to treat the symptoms, which can affect their well-being and performance in the workplace.

Understanding the effects of a lack of sleep on employee performance can offer insight into how much it affects the success of the individual and their employer. Getting adequate sleep may cut into their work at first but can have lasting impacts that positively affect their role and how well they contribute to the organization.