In the lead up to important events like interviews or public speaking, do you ever feel so nervous that you can't sleep? Which then leads to feeling tired and groggy in the morning, impacting your performance! We've brought in Communications Expert Marie El Daghl to tell us why it's so important to have a good night's sleep for quality communication.
The ability to communicate with confidence, persuasion and flair is a special power not to be underestimated. An important life skill and critical to the workplace, effective communication helps us express our ideas and opinions, understand others, solve problems and much more.
While it’s important to work on sharpening this skill through practice and learning; a good night’s sleep is essential for effective communication, no matter how strong your skills may be. Not only does sleep leave us feeling rested and energised for the day, but studies have shown that it has a significant impact on our communication skills.
With a good night’s sleep and communication confidence in hand, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with at your next big presentation, meeting or job interview.
The power of good sleep and communication
1. Manage anxiety and nerves ahead of a communication event
Some communication events – like a major presentation or performance review – are naturally stressful. Ironically, staying up worrying about them all night will only make matters worse. Mind management is absolutely critical to your success as a communicator, and this starts with a good night’s sleep.
During deep sleep our heart rate and blood pressure drops, allowing our brain to reset anxious feelings and calm down. In comparison, a sleepless night can trigger up to a 30% rise in anxiety levels. So, make time for good sleep, you’ll have a better chance at managing your mind and keeping your anxiety at bay.
2. Break bad news with more empathy and understanding
Did you know that people who sleep well are more empathetic the next day, than those that have insufficient sleep? Sleep deprivation impacts our ability to process emotional information. As a result, we can come across as less sympathetic, moody and negative when tired. This can be a real barrier to effective communication, especially in situations where you need to have tough conversations or break bad news.
3. Speak with greater thought and clarity
Good sleep helps us better express our thoughts and ideas through words and vocal cues.
Research shows that insufficient sleep can impact one’s ability to articulate themselves. When sleep deprived, it can be much harder to put thoughts into words during a conversation. It can also be difficult to deliver ideas with the correct vocal intonation. This is important as intonation helps deliver meaning beyond words, it’s how we convey our feelings and emotions while speaking.
4. Recall important notes and speeches with ease
You’ve spent days memorising a speech, and now suddenly you’re at a mind blank!
It might be because your brain isn’t rested enough. When we have insufficient sleep, it’s harder for our brains to receive and recall information. Why? Our neurons are overworked, and as a result, our brain finds it difficult to access previously learnt information.
5. Be a better team player
Get that extra shut eye and show your colleagues you’re a real team player! When we have high-quality sleep, we’re more likely to be productive and work better with others. In one study, participants were given a task where one-person had to verbally give instructions to build a model, while the other followed with their back turned. When sleep deprived, the builder’s ability to efficiently follow instructions was impaired.
Don’t let insufficient sleep hold you back!
Next time you’re preparing to be communication ready, make sure you give yourself the runway and time for a good night’s sleep. Your body needs it, and so do your communication skills. Try some yoga or relaxation exercises if you struggle with sleep before a big event.
About the Author
Marie El Daghl is a communications specialist and trainer with over 20 years of experience. Working with small, medium and blue-chip brands across multiple industries, she has dedicated her career to helping individuals and brands communicate effectively. In 2017 she established Training George, where she helps unlock and set free brilliant minds with bespoke communications training.