Like many Americans, you might feel that you’re not getting enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. It is also estimated that 37 percent of the U.S. workforce is sleep deprived. We need proper sleep to recharge our stamina, face the day and avoid injuries at home and at work.
Getting good sleep
To be alert, well-rested and at your best, follow these tips:
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep every day
- Create and follow a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day—even on weekends.
- Eliminate unnecessary light
- Keep your bedroom temperate – neither hot nor cold
- Make sure your bed and pillows are comfortable and support restful sleep
- Avoid eating right before bed
- Remember that bedtime is for sleeping, not reading or watching TV
- Avoid using electronic devices before bed which can inhibit sleep
- Don’t check your phone or tablet before you go to bed. Devices that emit light can prevent you from getting good sleep
Dangers of Sleep Deprivation
We all have busy lives and sleep is often the first thing many of us cut back on to accommodate our schedules. In the long run, this can be dangerous. Sleep deprivation has been shown to raise the risks of depression, obesity and heart disease, and has an adverse effect on reproductive health. Lack of sleep can also lead you to experience short bursts of sleep lasting anywhere from a fraction of a second or up to 30 seconds, known as microsleep. Individuals who experience microsleep lose awareness and consciousness during the episode, which can be dangerous especially on the road.
- Plan to take regular rest breaks and rotate drivers when travelling long distances
- Avoid alcohol and medications that may make you drowsy while driving
- If you feel drowsy, pull over when it is safe to do so
- To combat drowsiness, have a cup of coffee or caffeinated drink and stretch your legs by taking a short walk
- If you need more rest, take a quick nap if it is safe to do so
- If you are too tired to continue driving even after a break, don’t drive. Stay at a hotel or call someone—a loved one, friend or even a cab or ride-sharing service—to get you to your destination safely
Don’t get sidelined by fatigue. Get plenty of sleep to recharge and stay healthy and avoid dangerous situations like driving when drowsy.