The Sleepy Employee

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Why Sleep Matters

Studies show that a poor night’s rest negatively affects job performance in a number of ways, including:

  • Poor judgment
  • Decreased productivity
  • Difficulty learning and retaining information
  • Difficulty processing complex information
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Irritability
  • Impatience
  • Negativity
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased concentration
  • Diminished self-control
  • Poor reflexes
  • Tardiness
  • Falling asleep on the job

Sleeplessness can also be a serious safety issue. Those who work with heavy equipment have a significantly increased risk of workplace accidents when they arrive at work tired. Commuters are also at risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries per year.

Sleep And Your Health

Beyond the workplace, your level of rest affects everything from your health to your overall feeling of well-being. According to medical researchers, chronic sleep loss increases the risk of:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Urinary problems
  • Depression
  • Diminished sex drive

Is burning the midnight oil burning you out?
The amount and quality of your sleep affects your workday more than you might imagine.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Most Americans don’t get that on a regular basis, with the workweek being the time we get the least amount of restful sleep. A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 43% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights.

Getting A Better Night’s Rest

Most people can eliminate chronic sleepiness by making a few simple lifestyle adjustments. Here are a few things you can do to get a better night’s rest:

Exercise regularly but no later than three hours before bedtime, or the endorphin “high” will keep you awake.

  • Establish a regular bedtime routine and don’t eat, watch TV, or read in bed.
  • Go to sleep and get up at the same time every day, including weekends.
  • Keep your room dark and cool. A lower temperature promotes more restful sleep.
  • Spend a little extra on comfortable pillows.
  • Replace your mattress every 10 years.
  • Avoid caffeine six hours or less prior to your bedtime.
  • Don’t use alcohol as a sleeping aid. It disrupts REM sleep and leaves you tired.
  • Avoid using laptops, smartphones, and other electronic gadgets late at night. They can trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime and cause insomnia.

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