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Cutting back on sleep as way to fit more work into your day may hinder rather than help your performance.

The notion of “sleeping your way to the top” probably raises negative images: workplace sex scandals, unscrupulous bosses and compromised workers. Taken literally, however, it actually offers sound advice for advancing your career.

We’ve known for decades that sleep deprivation, especially fewer than six hours per night, undermines health and leads to dangerous accidents in blue-collar work environments. But what about the cumulative effects of smaller amounts of sleep loss on white-collar professionals?

Although many executives don’t see a connection between lack of sleep and their performance – 46 per cent of business leaders surveyed by McKinsey & Company didn’t (“McKinsey Quarterly”, February 2016) – the evidence tells a different story

Emerging research shows measurable deficits in workplace performance from skimping on sleep. In some cases, foregoing even one or two hours of sleep has a noticeable effect. However, tired workers simply don’t realise how compromised they are, because sleep deprived people are poor judges of their own performance.

To help wake you up to the importance of sleep, here are some findings that examine the effect of sleep loss on some key performance-related skills.

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