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  • Writer's pictureThe Legal Digest

Why Lawyers are more likely to Suffer with Sleep Deprivation

Photo courtesy of Rachel Claire

Working long hours into the night or all the way through affects our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is our body's natural body clock and exposure to light from screens for example, later in the evening or not getting natural sunlight in the mornings affects this too.

I remember working with colleagues that used to do exactly this, work all the way through the night on a deal only to feel exhausted and burnout the next day and were rewarded with half a day off. They championed this way of working, as though they would be rewarded by their seniors.

Without sufficient sleep we become burnt out, we can make mistakes, which can potentially cost us our careers and have detrimental outcomes for clients. When we are burnt out, we become less interested in the things that bring us joy, we have less energy to make time for friends, instead we do things that require less energy such as watching TV or eating junk food leading us into an upward spiral affecting our physical and mental health. If we keep doing this, then we stop noticing the signs of declining health and become accustomed to the symptoms we experience.

How do you deal with sleep deprivation in a workplace that champions overworking?

That is not easy because you have to tackle a mindset and be a culture changer and the first thing you might be worrying about is losing your chance to climb the career ladder or made to feel like an outsider by your peers.

- You can't control others around you, but you can be a role model. People pick up a lot just by observing others.

- Join a community where you can discuss this and how they are tackling the same problems as you.

- Consider other careers or practice areas.


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