Want to get ahead at work? Take a nap!


Remember all-nighters? When I was in college, all-nighters were special occasions, and I would prepare for them like they were a lead-in to Christmas. I'd make sure that there was plenty of coffee in the kitchen, be sure to avoid high-carb snacks that would have me crashing at 4 a.m., and would work in the occasional shower to keep me fresh (and pruney).

Now that I've gotten a little older, though, it just doesn't work anymore. If I'm up at 2 a.m., I'm probably in a cranky mood, and you can bank on the fact that I'll be grim and non-communicative until at least noon. That, of course, is assuming that you'll even be able to drag me out of bed, which is pretty unlikely.

Happily, I've found that there is a great deal of research to support my refusal to rise from my slumber until I've had my requisite seven or eight hours of sleep. According to various sleep-deprivation studies, not getting enough sleep can cause a wide array of negative consequences, ranging from fatigue and short-term memory loss to slowed speech, physical tremors, and paranoia. If it is allowed to persist long enough, sleep deprivation can cause permanent damage and even death.