Sleep deprivation is a growing concern in today’s world. While the recommended sleep hours to be clocked stands at 7-8 hours, most adults are unable to match close. According to the U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of adults get less than 7 hours of sleep. In fact, the CDC has declared inadequate sleep as a public health epidemic owing to various related evidence in hand.
The effects of sleep deprivation, especially at a workplace are not only serious but can prove fatal too. The National Center for Biotechnology Information reported 20% of all car crash accidents and injuries had a direct association with sleepiness. In addition to this, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg co-relation. Not only does work stress affect your night’s sleep but a lack of sleep has a direct impact on your work productivity, creativity, and innovation.
Got doubts if your job is a contributing factor? Here are 5 ways your job could be snatching your sleep away:
1. Remote access to work
While Telecommuting has innumerable benefits from a work perspective for both employer and employee an undisturbed night’s sleep in bed definitely isn’t one of them. A recent article in the Medical Daily reports research suggests that telecommuters are more likely to experience insomnia and stress than on-site workers.
Around 42% of employees working from home said they frequently woke up throughout the night in comparison to 29% of employees who work from office premises. Unlike the latter, employees who work from home also tend to work when they are sick at a time when rest is needed.
Ask a businessperson when he last relaxed into doing nothing and they will probably take a while to remember. Being self-employed can topple work-life balance out of proportion. Whether you are a freelancer or run a full blown business with work hours- it’s hard to retract into a relaxing space when you have your money and hard work invested.
Studies have also shown people who are involved in their own business are likely to be short sleepers. They also tend to add more emphasis on work rather than leisure leading them to feel a perpetual strain throughout the day.
This stress not only resides during the day but seeps into the night as well with the constant buzz of a racing mind. The almost always “switched on” stage can cause immense physical and mental stress causing sleepless strenuous nights.
3. Shift timing jobs
If you are someone who works shifts- your day and nights have probably switched positions. Our circadian rhythm is what sets the clock. Having this disturbed itself can cause immense stress to the body and mind.
These workers face a high risk of disrupted, poor quality sleep with excessive fatigue during the daytime owing to a lack of sleep. People who work shift jobs often experience extreme exhaustion being forced to work at a time when their natural body clock eases them into sleep.
In fact, an estimated 5-10% of shift workers suffer from a circadian rhythm sleep disorder which attributes to extreme tiredness and sleeps deprivation. Over a long period, shift workers are at an increased risk of chronic and fatal diseases owing to sleep deprivation like obesity, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Are you a paid or unpaid caregiver? Whether you are spending time caring for a loved one, family, pet or a neighbor- caregiving can take a complete toll on you. If you are an unpaid caregiver, it gets harder having to juggle a day job and a dependent at home to care for. A recent detailed study found that caregivers experience high rates of insomnia and additional sleep problems.
5. Mental Health
Whatever your job, if you are generally an anxious person who fears deadlines and in general worries about the future incessantly- you are probably tossing those thoughts and sleep deprivation around at night. If you suffer from any mental health issues that could increase stress levels by leaving you sweating all night worried about tomorrow’s day at work, it is advised to seek medical help. Anxiety and depression are two major contributors to sleep deprivation.
Win your sleep back
Here are some tips on ensuring a good night’s sleep no matter what your day job requires you to do!
Maintain a cozy sleep environment: The last thing you want is to immerse yourself in a bed that’s filled with clutter related to your work or anything else. Keep your bedroom as a haven for relaxation with soothing color choices, furniture and stress trigger free.
Maintain a sleep routine: No matter what work-related tsunami hits you- maintain a healthy sleep routine for you to follow. Whether it’s a cut off time to taking calls and checking emails or a warm glass of milk before bedtime to cue your mind into sleep mode- stick to it!
Invest in sleep aids: Your body will thank you instantly after a restful night’s sleep on a mattress and pillow that suits your sleep preference. Especially if you have an office job that requires you to sit in front of a desk all day thereby stressing your back. Pick a mattress like memory foam mattresses that offer optimal support ensuring your spine is in its natural resting position.
Exercise: Can’t let go of your bad day? Exercise! Sweat your frustration out during high or low-intensity work out regimes. Not only does it up your happy hormones but it ensures you are exhausted physically enough to fall into a deep sleep!
No matter what your job is, sleep is a basic necessity and not a luxury. Your body works hard to renew, regenerate and revive cells that were destroyed during the day. This includes your brain that works hard to process thoughts that need to be kept for use the next day or ones that need to be discarded. If you are tossing and turning overnight leading to a lack of sleep-it’s time to literally ‘wake up’ to your triggers and sort them out!