Do you regularly arrive at work feeling tired, groggy or run-down? If so, you may not be getting enough sleep. It’s estimated that more than one-third of the workforce is sleep-deprived.
Most people will brush off their low energy levels as just part of getting older, which makes it difficult to distinguish between what is common and what is “normal”. While fatigue is common, it’s certainly not biologically normal and can affect every aspect of your life.
Not getting enough sleep is risky. Sleep deprivation has been shown to raise the risks of depression, obesity and heart disease and it has an adverse effect on reproductive health.
To help get better sleep and be more alert during the day:
- Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
- Maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends.
- Keep your bedroom dark and cool when you’re sleeping.
- Avoid eating heavy meals before bedtime.
- Keep electronic devices, such as cellphones and TVs, out of the bedroom.
THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, contributes to balancing mood and fatigue.
Vitamin D is found in a small number of foods. The majority of the average person's vitamin D comes from the body's ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight.
Working indoor can definitively influence the vitamin D levels, so in case of fatigue, checking your vitamin D level is recommended.
“SLEEPING IN” ON WEEKENDS MAY BE BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH
According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, going to bed later and waking up later on weekends, also known as social jet lag, is linked to poor health and higher levels of sleepiness and fatigue. Results indicated that each hour of social jet lag was linked to an 11% increase in the chances of developing heart disease. In addition, participants who experienced social jet lag were 28.3% more likely to report their health as “fair/poor.”
These results indicate that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health.
FATIGUE CAN BE DANGEROUS
Sleep deprivation can have a big effect on safety when driving. Studies indicate that around 20% of fatal car accidents involve driver fatigue.
To help stay alert on long road trips:
- Take regular breaks to get fresh air and stretch your legs and rotate drivers when possible.
- Do not drink alcohol or take medications that may make you drowsy.
- Find a safe place to pull over and rest for a while if you feel drowsy.
- Don’t drive if you feel too tired.