How sleep can affect your career

An American study sanctioned by Sleepy’s Mattress Chain found Lawyers to be the second most sleep deprived occupation across the pond. No doubt it is a similar problem in the UK too.

The findings were based on interviews with over 27,000 adults who took part in the annual National Health Interview Survey.

Of course, the findings will come as no surprise to those in the profession who are used to long days and busy nights.

However, lack of sleep is no joke.

Sleep deprivation can destroy creativity, heighten stress, slow problem solving abilities, as well as increase the risk of physical ailments including type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

Lawyers, and other legal professionals, need to be on top of their game to handle their daily duties.

And, by ignoring the importance of their sleep they may be hurting themselves, as well as their career.

The National Sleep Foundation says there is no ‘magic’ number for the hours sleep you should get, but that somewhere between 7-9 hours’ sleep should be sufficient, depending on your daily routine.

The Foundation recommends you should listen to your body, and if you feel you don’t have enough energy to get through your day, then you need to address your sleep.

However, it is likely that some people can operate on less sleep without it being detrimental to their health.

Of course, many parents with young children will be rolling their eyes at this article and thinking ‘if only it was that easy’.

But, it is important to try and find ways to look after yourself when you get a chance.

Perhaps that is indulging in a lie-in on a Sunday morning, grabbing a quick nap at lunch time, or looking into alternative techniques to get your children into a regular sleep routine.

The Great British Sleep Survey found that quality of sleep decreases with age with “49% more people over 60 suffering from long term sleep problems than those in their twenties”.

There are all sorts of resources out there with tips on how to get a better night sleep.

Advice includes cutting out caffeine before you sleep, maintaining regular exercise, as well as keeping a regular sleep and wake schedule.

So how can sleep affect your career?

Well, if you’re more stressed and less productive then you are not going to be working to your best ability.

That has a trickledown effect on everything concerning your career. It slows your work progression, makes you less likely to gain a promotion and affects your work-life happiness too.

If you find you’re not getting enough sleep, then there is a lot of information out there that could help you.

You can start by taking this NHS sleep self-assessment which will offer some advice on what to do next.

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What not to do at a Job Interview…

…Running late

According to research by the Daily Mail, 96% of recruiters agree that time keeping is one of the most influential factors at a job interview. Being late, essentially is not an option. If you’re running late you might as well not bother turning up for the interview at all.

However if you are running late (which it’s inevitable to happen to you eventually) you should always call ahead and let them know.  It still doesn’t  look great but it’s better to call up ahead of time, let them know that you expect to be late and the reason why. This at least appears that you’re more organised and respect the time of the interviewer.


Personal hygiene is very important. Going to an interview smelling of ‘BO’ can leave an incredibly bad impression, one of the first things people notice about you besides your appearance is your smell.

First impressions are very important, and going to an interview smelling of cigarette smoke, or having ‘coffee breath’ at an interview can be a massive turn off.  Believe it or not interviews are personal, people have to see themselves being able to work with you and most people don’t want to work with someone that smells of something they dislike.

The same goes for wearing too much perfume or aftershave.  Wear these in moderation, don’t choke the interview panel with your perfume/aftershave it’s something else that can leave a really negative impression.

…Dress inappropriately

First impressions are paramount to an interview. Following the wrong dress code could be enough to to write off your interview at first sight. For example if you’re interviewing for a job at a local authority/council full interview attire would be expected. However going to work for a small design company, something more smart casual is likely appropriate. Don’t be afraid to ask what the dress code is. Over and under-dressing can leave a similar first impression, however it is always better to overdress a little than it is to turn up in jeans and a polo.