Lack of sleep is a common reason for feeling sleepy at the workplace. It is especially true in the white-collar world of modern times where more emphasis is upon achieving target and meeting deadlines. Such stressful situations in day-to-day life leads to sleepless nights eventually making a person feel sleepy during the working hours. If you are used to having such sleepy sessions at your workplace do not be surprised as a survey says lakhs of people doze off during their working hours thereby upsetting their level of productivity.
What Does the Research Say?
According to an employee-based health institute in the US, a study conducted on 1,139 employees from three different companies has revealed that 15% employees feel sleepy during working hours, at least once in a week. Jennifer Turgiss, the lead researcher says that four key factors are responsible for keeping the employees awake during the night including stress, physical discomfort, environmental disruptors and mental activity.
Turgiss discovered that deprived sleep could cause tiredness and reduce your ability to act positively in the most stressful situations and manage it properly. Ultimately, it leads to serious problems at the work place, such as lack of concentration, decrease in the ability to make decisions, less patience and irritability and decrease in your cognitive functions.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has found out that 50% adults in the US suffer from insomnia due to sleep apnea, physical issues, restless leg syndrome, night terrors or sleepwalking and depression.
Survey Indications on Causes of Sleeplessness
Different people came up with myriad reasons for sleeplessness.
- 85.2% said the bed or the room temperature was unbearable
- 68.6% said noise pollution was the problem
- 71.9% said they were having sleeping issues with their partners
- 40% attributed the problem to their mattresses
- 52.8% could not sleep because of the bright lights
- 10.2% suffered from a medical condition, that caused interrupted sleep
- 35.9% complained about disruptions from the kids
Dangers of Sleep Deprivation
Deprivation of sleep can lead to several dangers. You always end up groggy-eyed after a restless night in the bed. You are not as productive or sharp as usual. 4 to 5 days of insufficient sleep affects your energy, metabolism and dietary restraint, especially among women. Thus, with a weak immune system you become more vulnerable to serious health risks such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
What Should You Avoid?
You habits more probably are the reasons behind deprived sleep.
- Stop consuming sugar or caffeine in excess, especially during the night. The caffeine excites you and keeps you awake for a long time.
- Avoid watching television or browsing on laptop /mobile phones prior to bedtime as constant exposures to light keeps you awake for a long time when you go to bed.
- Make sure that the bed is dusted every day before sleeping and the sheets are changed at least once a week.
- Avoid working late in the night.
What You Must Do?
Lifestyle changes can certainly help you to change the way you feel during the day, energized or sleepy. Although taking a nap in the daytime does not necessarily affect your health negatively, feeling sleepy when you are at work certainly is not acceptable. So, if you want to feel energized and alert throughout the day, try out the following strategies. The effects may vary depending upon your health condition and the cause of deprived sleep, but you will surely start witnessing visible results within a few days.
1. Try to sleep Early and Get Enough Sleep
Medical science says on an average an adult needs seven to eight hours sleep. So make sure that you sleep early and get that ideal amount of sleep every night.
2. High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Diet
Your diet influences your sleep largely. Eating a healthy combination of high-protein foods and carbohydrates for lunch keeps you energized all through the day and ensures sound sleep at night. Including carbohydrates in excess amount can cause disruption in sleep just as caffeine and sugar.
3. Use The First Half to Complete Tedious Task
Complete the most complicated part of the work the first time in the morning. Since a tedious task is always boring, you may tend to feel sleepy if you try to do it in the afternoon hours. Instead, shift your creative meetings and sessions after the lunch when your energy levels are soaring high.
4. Exercise Regularly
Walking or jogging for a few kilometers is recommended so that your metabolic activity and blood circulation work at top speed. You can choose your form of exercise and timing that suits your schedule such as yoga, dance aerobic, biking, etc. However, make sure that there is a gap of two hours between your workout timing and bedtime as intense exercise can make you feel more active for a couple of hours and keep you awake. Studies show that people who exercise regularly have lesser sleeping problems.
Check out: 12 Health Benefits of Regular Exercising
5. Keep On Munching all the Day
Instead of eating one big meal, make sure that you divide your meal in portions and keep on munching on healthy snacks all through the day. Eating too much at a time slows down your metabolism making you feel sleepy. Instead, if you keep on eating in smaller portions, you will feel active and energetic all through the day with the regular supply of nutrition.
6. Meditation to the Rescue
Unstable mind is one of the reasons that can cause sleepless nights and sleepy daytime. Meditation helps you to focus on positive things and keeps your mind stable. You can take the help of a trainer or go through several books and online ezines to learn the basic techniques of meditation.
7. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Adequate intake of water makes you feel revived and refreshed all through the day.
8. Avoid Late Night TV or Loud Music
The body reacts according to the surroundings. If you are, listening to loud music or watching TV until the wee hours your body will not be able to relax and make you sleep the moment you hit the bed. The best way to ensure peaceful sleep at night is to sleep in a comfortable, quiet and dimly lit room.
A combination of diet, lifestyle changes and exercise can help you remain energetic and active all through the day sans any spell of sleepiness.