Do you find yourself dozing off in office? You are not alone, says a new study. Here’s how to tackle sleep deprivation
Lack of sleep is so common in the white-collar world today that it is visibly affecting their performance at work. If you often find yourself nodding off in meetings, you have the company of lakhs of corporate employees whose sleep deprivation is upsetting their productive waking hours.
An employee-based health institute in the US recently conducted a study of 1,139 employees from three companies. Lead researcher, Jennifer Turgiss, found that 15% of them doze off on the job at least once a week! Four key factors were preventing them from getting restful sleep — worry or stress, mental activity, physical discomfort, and environmental disruptors.
Another report by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) declared in the past that 29% of respondents fell asleep or became very sleepy at work, while 36% had fallen asleep or nodded off while driving.
There are several dangers of sleep deprivation. After a restless night of twisting and turning in bed, you will turn up groggy-eyed. You won’t be as sharp or productive as usual. Even five days of insufficient sleep can reduce energy metabolism and dietary restraint, particularly in women. A weak immune system, more risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity are the other adverse effects of not getting enough quality sleep.
Turgiss found that the resultant tiredness reduced one’s ability to manage stressful situations. This leads to various workplace problems: decreased decision-making abilities, lack of concentration, a decrease in cognitive function, irritability and less patience with colleagues, to name a few.
What to do
– Exercise regularly and go for brisk walks in a park.
– Take short breaks every couple of hours. During this break, take a walk around the office premises to refresh your mind.
– A healthy diet will increase your energy levels.
– Dim the bedroom lights before retiring for the night.
– Include foods with Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. A recent study conducted in the UK found that people with higher Omega-3 had better sleeping patterns.
What not to do
– Avoid too much caffeine or sugar.
– Don’t watch television or browse the internet on your laptop or mobile phone before bedtime.
– Don’t use the same bedsheets for more than a week.
– Avoid late night workouts.
What’s causing lack of sleep?
Reasons why the survey respondents couldn’t sleep
85.2% said the room or bed temperature was either too high or too low to sleep soundly
71.9% attributed sleeping issues to their partners
68.6% said unwanted noise was an issue
52.8% blamed it on bright lights
40% had issues with their mattresses
35.9% cited disruptions from children
10.2% had a medical condition that interrupted sleep
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