No matter the occupation, getting an adequate amount of sleep is crucial for a productive and safe workday. People who don’t get enough sleep have issues with concentration and memory, headaches, mid-day fatigue, irritability and clumsiness and can also have problems driving
The Centers for Disease Control National Health Interview Survey of 27,000 Americans found that very few of us get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, with most people getting less than seven hours.
Because everyone is so over-stimulated with various technologies and juggling multiple work deadlines, it’s important to make sure your sleep habits are in check. Stick to these tips to ensure a good night’s sleep.
1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed – Caffeine can affect you for up to 12 hours, and alcohol may help you fall asleep fast but often you’ll wake up in the middle of the night.
2. Have a small snack before bed – A small, carbohydrate-rich snack can keep hunger away for a full eight hours.
3. Keep the bedroom well ventilated – If the temperature in your room is too hot or cold, you’ll have trouble sleeping. A cool room is most conducive to sleeping.
4. Have a fixed time to wake up and go to bed – As much as sleeping in on the weekends is great, not sticking to a routine may cause insomnia. It’s often more difficult to wake up early on Monday morning because your ‘clock’ has been reset.
5. Make sure your bed is comfortable – If you have an uncomfortable bed or bedding, it could be the main source of your sleep problem. Make sure you have room to turn and stretch comfortably.
6. Limit naps to less than an hour – Late afternoon naps may make it difficult to fall asleep at night. If you can’t deal without, limit them to less than an hour.
7. Turn off the TV, cell phone, iPad, laptop and any other electronic distraction – This one may be the hardest to follow, considering we’re all plugged in more than ever before. Make sure to keep all electronics out of the bedroom; it’s much more difficult to ignore them when they’re at arm’s length.
Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived are often functioning at the level of someone who is legally drunk. Always strive for a full eight hours to ensure you are refreshed so that you can perform at the optimal level.