When you’re feeling tired, it’s easy to turn to coffee to get through your day, but according to research, sleep is more important.

Scientists have been studying sleep for decades. One study determined that employees who slept for fewer hours exhibited decreased performance, productivity and safety results. This is incredibly important for employees of startup businesses due to the long hours and fast pace environment.

Here are six ways that sleep increases productivity.

1. You’ll Be Less Distracted

When you get the proper amount of sleep, you’ll handle distractions better and faster. People who are sleep deprived struggle more to refocus on tasks that they were doing before a disruption than individuals who sleep well. Feeling fresh and alert is welcome and needed if you have an especially talkative cubicle partner who tends to distract you or small kids around when you’re working from home.

2. You’ll Be More Decisive

People who get enough sleep are generally more decisive. Sleep also helps you make better decisions. Research shows that those who are well rested improve their ability to make quick and correct decisions by around 4%. Quick and accurate decisions allow you to be more productive.

3. You’ll Avoid Burnout

Research proves that workers who sleep less than six hours a night are more likely to experience job burnout than those who sleep more and better. According to statistics, American companies lose an estimated $63 billion annually in lost productivity from workers being sleep deprived. By making sleep a priority now, you’ll increase your chances of a long career that you enjoy doing.

4. You’ll Be Less Likely to Make Mistakes

Even people who are just a little sleep deprived experience less accuracy and a reduced response time than people who sleep well. In fact, one study found that sleep deprived people had more trouble performing simple tasks than those who were under the effects of alcohol. When you’re making mistakes that you wind up correcting later on, you’re decreasing your productivity levels.

5. Better Memory

Sleep improves your memory. Those who get the sleep that they need on a mattress made for their needs are more likely to remember the things that they’ve learned during the day. This is why it’s a bad idea for college students to pull all-nighters to study for important exams. With enough sleep, you’ll have a better chance of remembering how to perform new tasks and completing each work step at the right time.

6. Better Creative Flow

Sleep is important to many of the brain’s functions. This includes nerve cell communication. While you’re sleeping, your brain and body are quite active. According to research, sleep cleans things up in your brain and body. Sleep eliminates brain toxins that build up during the time that you’re awake, clearing the way for better creative flow at work and at home.

More Sleep Equals Greater Productivity

Sleep is as essential as food and water. Matthew Carter, PhD, a Williams College sleep expert, shared some of the results of his research during a TEDx talk. He said, “Most people equate losing sleep with having more time to enjoy the day or getting things done. Ironically, when they are sleep deprived, they enjoy the day less and are so unfocused that they are much slower in getting things done. You’re able to get more done on a good night’s sleep, not less.”

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