It is important for our patients to know that even just losing a little bit of sleep at night can affect how productive you are at work. In fact, losing just 16 minutes of sleep is bad. It can play a negative role in your patient’s daily life.

A study from researchers at the University of South Florida looked at 130 employees who work in information technology and have at least one child in school. Over the course of eight days, participants logged how much they slept and answer a series of questions.

What the results showed

Questions in the survey focused on how often participants experienced off-task or distracting thoughts during the day on a scale of zero to four. The results showed that participants who lost as little as 16 minutes of sleep on a  nightly basis had more distracting thoughts. This made it more difficult for them to finish their tasks at work.

For adults older than 18 years old, it is important to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, though, about one-third of Americans are not getting that required amount of sleep per night.

We need to make sure our patients are getting an appropriate amount of sleep each night to ensure their health and well-being.