Leadership

American workers say getting more of this would help them be better employees

NUP_161215_1365.jpg
Lloyd Bishop | Getty Images

It's autumn in the United States and the sun will set earlier in the day as daylight savings time comes to an end on November 5. But let's face it, Americans could use the extra hour of sleep.

Whether you are putting in extra hours at work or staying up all night worrying about finances, losing sleep is not good for you. The country's issue with sleep deprivation is even shown to cost the economy $411 billion in productivity losses.

Two-thirds of American workers admit they would be better employees if they got more sleep, according to a new survey by job search and recruiting website Glassdoor.

After surveying 1,077 American full and part-time workers, Glassdoor found that 74 percent of respondents get less than eight hours of sleep on a typical work night. But according to the National Sleep Foundation, healthy adults should be getting between seven to nine hours of sleep if they hope to be in tip-top shape for work.

On a typical work night, 18-34 year old employees get 7.4 hours of sleep while those ages 45-64 get 6.5 hours of sleep.

"A person's sleeping habits can directly impact not only their workplace performance but also their overall health and wellness," Glassdoor community expert Sarah Stoddard tells CNBC Make It. "This survey highlights how employees aren't getting enough rest to completely recharge and present their best selves at work."

And American workers are onto something. Studies have shown that even one night of not getting proper sleep will make you feel hungrier than usual, puts you at greater risks for accidents while driving and at work, decreases your focus and makes you susceptible to catching a cold, among other health effects.

Broken down by gender, male employees report 7.1 hours of sleep on a typical work night, while female employees report 6.8 hours of sleep.

But for many, there is no such thing as a regular workday, Glassdoor finds.

"With technology allowing employees to work remotely and flexible work schedules on the rise, employees are empowered to step in and out of work to accommodate their personal and family lives," writes Glassdoor chief human resources officer Carmel Galvin in a release. "But with this advancement, the lines of when work starts and ends can blur, potentially impacting the rest employees receive during the week to be at their best."

Interestingly, these survey findings also suggest that demanding employers are not entirely to blame.

About three in four workers surveyed say their managers encourage them to take time off if they need to tend to their health. Furthermore, 87 percent of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing their life between work and personal commitments.

Lack of sleep aside, Americans also have a hard time taking vacation, sick days and time off, which puts them at a greater risk for burnout. A previous Glassdoor survey found that even if people manage to take a vacation, they work out of fear of falling behind with their work and feel they can never be disconnected, among other reasons. Over half of Americans workers also say they would rather work while sick than use their paid time off or sick time.

"There are several ways people can build better sleep habits in order be more productive at work and improve their overall wellness," Stoddard says, "and it all comes down to designing a nighttime routine that lets you wind down."

Here are some ways Stoddard recommends you make sure to get more rest and better sleep.

Unplug for the night

Turn off electronics at least 15 minutes before bed or leaving your phone in another room to charge overnight, Stoddard recommends.

"This will give your brain a break from the blue light emitted from your smartphone and allow yourself to truly disconnect before falling asleep," she adds.

This is habit tech billionaire Mark Cuban makes use of now that he says he is less attached to his devices.

"Before I go to bed, I can put my phone [down] and not worry about having to pick it up in the middle of the night and [I can] just get a good night's sleep," Cuban once said on Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global Podcast.

Relax and let go of busy thoughts

Unplugging will also free up your time to decompress. This will help your mind transition away from the busy thoughts from the day, Stoddard points out.

Former Google executive Jonathan Rosenberg says that despite his tech addiction, putting his phone away during dinner and before bed helps him relax after a busy day.

"[Smartphones, tablets and laptops] are incredibly addictive in a good way," Rosenberg says. "But it's important to be able to turn them off periodically during the day and night."

To help yourself wind down, "try taking a warm shower, sipping some tea, practicing light yoga or reading the book that's been sitting on your bedside table," Stoddard says.

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook.

Don't miss:
Girlboss founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso wants you to learn this crucial lesson from her new book
7 steps you can take to be happier with your career