Odd working hours and work-related stress are some of the most common reasons of sleep deprivation among humans all over the globe. Failing to secure enough sleep at night can not only disturb your sleep schedule but also affect your work efficiency by reducing your concentration and increasing daytime drowsiness.
Sleep deprivation at work has been known as a leading cause of accidents, memory lapses and sleep disorders such as insomnia. Maintaining proper balance between work and sleep is absolutely essential as overworking and poor sleep quality can often trigger a feeling of losing control over your life. We have therefore compiled a much-needed list of tips that can help you effectively cope up when your sleep gets affected by work.
Table of Contents
#01 Light Exposure
It is important to take care of the amount of exposure your body is getting to light and also the timing of it, especially if you work in night shifts. Make sure that you receive ample light exposure in the day if you are working traditional hours. Something as simple as a morning work-out session in the sun or a workplace lit brightly in daylight can do wonders for your body’s internal clock. If you are doing a night shift, you should have your workplace lit brightly through the early hours of the shift. However, you may want to consider avoiding bright light towards the end of your shift and on your way home for sleeping.
#02 Manage your Shifts
While it’s true that not all shift workers face problems in sleeping well due to their work hours, experts suggest that they are in general at an increased risk of experiencing health risks. It therefore becomes important that you refrain from working too many night shifts consecutively. However, you must also make sure that you are not fluctuating between night and day shifts too often as this can disrupt your established sleep schedule.
#03 Avoid Electronics Before Bed
It is crucial that you get rid of any blue-light emitting electronics such as TV, laptop or smartphones at least 90 minutes your bed time (irrespective of your sleep schedule). The short wavelength of blue light is known to inhibit the production of the sleep-inducing hormone known as melatonin in the body. Day-sleepers should particularly let the word out that they are not to be called or messaged during their sleep hours.
#04 Isolate the Bed
Maintaining an exclusive space for your bed is essential to make it a point that your bed is meant for sleeping. Avoid habits that can make your mind associate the bed with activities other than sleeping such as eating, working, sitting, etc. If your old mattress is making it harder for you to fall or stay asleep, you may want to give it an upgrade. If you are having problems in choosing the right mattress for yourself, view mattress comparisons that have been created to make your task easy.
#05 Sneak a Nap
A common question among employees who can’t sleep before work properly is “how to sleep at work?” The answer to that is quite easy, allot somewhere between 30 to 40 minutes for a nap every day for yourself, preferably during your break hour. A short nap can not only revitalize your body but also boost your memory and concentration. Considering that your workplace might not be the place best suited for sleeping, you may want to carry a comfortable set of earplugs and eye mask to block the external sound and noise.
#06 Take Care of the Stress
Although jumping to your bed straight after your dinner may seem as the sanest thing to do when you are sleep deprived due to the workload, it is recommended that you give your mind and body sometime to wind itself down before hitting the bed. Soothing bedtime rituals like doing meditation, performing yoga, writing a journal or listening to soft music can help you prepare for the sleep ahead and take the stress of your mind. If you are wondering which of the following the best advice is for a person concerned about occasional insomnia, the answer is maintaining a journal as it has been known not only as a great way to help you organize but also a good way to utilize your time if you are having trouble sleeping.
#07 Cut the Caffeine
While caffeinated drinks may offer a spurt of rejuvenation, it is essential that you limit the amount of caffeine that goes in your body. Research suggests that it is better to intake caffeinated drinks in higher frequency but in a low-dose rather than taking a large amount to increase alertness. It is wise to avoid taking such drink post late afternoon as the stimulating effect from a cup of coffee can last as long as six hours. Similarly, people at night shifts are welcome to take coffee in the initial hours of their shift but should avoid it later on to prevent wakefulness when they reach home.
#08 Talk with Someone
Working in your sleep deprived state can not only effectively reduce your productivity but can also lead to severe long-term health-related problems like obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular risks, etc. It is therefore important that you share whatever’s wrong with your workload and sleep health before you get overwhelmed by the conditions. Visiting a doctor is also a good option as they can prescribe various medications, sleep aids, cognitive-behavioral therapy, etc., that can help you remain awake during the work hours and help fall asleep at bedtime.
While extended workhours and too much workload can disrupt your sleep, a poor sleep quality can in turn affect you’re your performance at the work. It is therefore beneficial to everyone that you follow the aforementioned tips and get the best sleep quality possible.