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Bad Judgment by an Employee? They May Just Not be Getting Enough Sleep


I have always assumed that exhaustion affects our judgment, makes us sloppy and unsafe, and more prone to anger. Behavioral research supports my assumptions. Perhaps our first wellness step should be a campaign to get employees to sleep … and to follow our own advice! 

University of Kentucky professor and Lab Director Dr. C. Nathan DeWall has lectured and written on self-control and “self-regulation depletion.” To grossly oversimplify some of his conclusions, he has documented how metabolic depletion (lack of energy) and sleep deprivation limits ones self-control. 

So why don’t employees get enough rest? As employers, we cannot necessarily address employees having to work more than one job, or the harsh demands of our ever-changing society. However, we can educate employees and encourage rest, and perhaps consider such needs in our staffing and strategic decisions.

This article appeared on July 19, 2013 on


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