Trouble Sleeping? It Could Be Your Personality

Forbes May 8, 2023


Trouble Sleeping? It Could Be Your Personality

Everyone knows getting a good night’s sleep is important for health, and the sleep wellness industry is big business. McKinsey reports that the wellness industry is a $1.5 trillion market. The quest for better sleep is a relatively newer category in the spectrum of wellness products and services, and the percentage of money consumers spend on sleep is quite low when compared to other health areas such as mindfulness, nutrition, and fitness. However, that number is growing. The global sleep aids market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of almost 6% from 2022 to 2030 — bringing the market’s total value up to $125 billion by 2030.

But what if a large determinant of whether you get quality shut-eye or not wasn’t something you can change with an app or a different bedtime routine? Namely, your personality. That’s what a recent study published in The Journal of Sleep Research posits. They found that the risk of sleep disturbances increases in those who are more prone to neuroticism, impulsivity and introversion.

Poor sleep comes with a host of negative health consequences, such as obesity, heart disease, and depression. It also has another consequence — it negatively impacts work performance. We often hear the stories of high-achievers who claim to function on as little as three or four hours of sleep each night. However, the science does not back up those anecdotes. What it does show is a clear link between sleep and performance.

How poor sleep impacts work performance

It’s obvious to many that after a late night out, getting through the next day at work is significantly harder than usual. Businesses know this, too, and have steadily been adding sleeping aids to their overall wellness offerings. From full-blown sleep corporate training programs to adding free subscriptions to apps such as Calm and Headspace, sleep is on the business wellness agenda.

When we’re operating on low sleep, cognitive impairment can be just as bad as having a blood alcohol level of 0.05%. It’s harder to get started on strategic tasks, pay attention in meetings, retain important details, and it becomes more difficult to collaborate. Poor sleepers are often less engaged at work, too. Conversely, when we are well-rested, we are better problem solvers, more creative, better able to retain new knowledge, and more capable of generating new insights.

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