The Cumulative Effects of Good and Bad Sleep Habits

August 25, 2022

Sleep matters. In fact, whether you have good or bad sleep habits affects your health, productivity, career performance
and happiness. So, if you've been out of sorts lately or find yourself more stressed than usual, take a few minutes to examine if you are getting enough quality sleep.


Obesity, cardiovascular problems, diabetes and even early death are just some of the possible health issues that come from bad sleep habits. You may also be more prone to becoming sick if your lack of sleep has compromised your immune system.

The hormone leptin causes you to feel full while ghrelin stimulates hunger. Research indicates that people who need sleep produce more ghrelin. They constantly feel hungry, and many overeat. On the other hand, if your sleep habits are good, you are more likely to start each day alert and in tune with the needs of your body.


Sleep habits have a huge impact on productivity. For example, if you are drowsy, you probably feel less motivated to shop, exercise, work, socialize and so on. Alternatively, if you're coming out of a good night's sleep, odds are better that
you're energetic, passionate and ready to tackle the world.

So, what's the word on max productivity? It varies according to each individual, but the general rule is to get eight hours of sleep a night. A word of caution: If you're used to sleeping six hours a night and feel fine, you might not be.
Studies show that six hours puts people in a strange sort of denial. They're slower cognitively but feel like they've gotten sufficient sleep. All it takes is two weeks of sleeping six hours instead of eight for many people to experience the clear-cut impact of sleep deprivation on their productivity - even if they don't realize it.

Career Performance

Productivity, in turn, influences many areas of your life. Your relationship with your family, for one thing. Your job, for another. If you're slowing down cognitively, your work suffers. If you're, say, a lawyer, you might not spot holes in arguments that you would have otherwise or you might fail to remember important case law. The opening and closing arguments you craft may lack their usual wit and insight.

Your output in these areas is likely to flag:
• Collaboration
• Communication
• Memory
• Concentration
• Learning
• Alertness

Depending on the type of job you do, your physical health could be in danger. If you are a driver, for example, you put yourself at risk as well as others on the road. Your job might be at risk, too, after a possible cumulative effect of substandard work.


The ultimate goal for many people in life is to be happy. Of course, "happiness" takes a variety of forms depending on who you are, but the reality is that if you have bad sleep habits, it is unlikely you can feel true happiness.

Are you guaranteed happiness if you have good sleep habits? Of course not. However, the cumulative effect of getting quality sleep every night does put you in a good position to be healthy and productive. It nudges you toward satisfying personal relationships and a fulfilling career.

It could be that a simple change in sleep is all you need if you feel cranky. In fact, many people who think they are getting eight hours of sleep a night are not. It's easy to overestimate the numbers. Say you go to bed at 10 p.m. and wake
up at 6 a.m. Seems like eight hours, right? But what about the 20 minutes it took you to fall asleep and what about the electronics glowing blue in your bedroom and possibly interfering with sleep quality?

Good sleep habits can be hard to build. However, you deserve to be happy. Working on improving the quality of your sleep can get you there.

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