In the previous blog, we described the ways that a lack of sleep can affect your safety in the workplace. Fatigue is a serious concern when you have to be sharp for work every day, and not just to do your job, but to keep yourself and others safe while doing your job. We determined that sleep is the only solution to fatigue. Any other efforts, like caffeine intake, are done in vain.
But for some people, sleep does not come easy. One-third of Americans claim that they don’t get enough sleep. Whether it be because of shift work, being on call, insomnia, or just burning the midnight oil, getting a good night’s sleep can be a real challenge.
Here are some tips for regulating a healthy sleep schedule:
- Figure out how much sleep you need to feel your best (7+ hours) and plan ahead for when you need to wind down, get in bed, and wake up the next day.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Have a bedtime routine to train your body how to unwind. Cues like taking a warm bath, putting on pajamas, brushing your teeth, and reading a book triggers your brain to know that it’s time to shut down.
- Don’t confuse your brain by scrolling through your phone or watching TV late into the night. The light from screens interferes with your body’s ability to produce melatonin to help you go to sleep.
- Exercise during the day, but don’t exercise in the evenings before bed.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco. These stimulants can interfere with your body’s natural rhythms.
- Avoid large meals and beverages in the late evening.
- Rid your room of distractions like sounds, lights, a computer or TV.
- Make sure your bed and pillow is comfortable.
- Keep the room dark and at good temperature.
- Aim to wake up 15 minutes earlier than you usually do and see if you feel more tired the next evening. Oversleeping can be an issue.
- Spend some time outdoors so that you feel more tired in the evening.
- Make your animals (and children) sleep in their own beds.