Monday, January 5, 2015

It's Time For A Nap


When I was younger I always thought days off during the holidays were supposed to be a time to kick back, relax and catch up on some much needed sleep… I’m not sure about the rest of you but I feel like I need some time off to recover from my time off. Did anyone have last minute shopping to do in stores packed with other last minute shoppers? How many people had their in-laws stay with them a few too many days? Or did you take the family on an 8 hour road trip to Grandma’s house and needed to stop every 30 miles for a bathroom break? Holidays are a very stressful time and it is very likely that you’re more sleep deprived now than before they started. 

With the world more connected than ever, businesses are expected to operate around the clock. This means employees are expected to work longer hours, work from home at night, on weekends, and during holidays. This makes it difficult for individuals and families to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. When holidays are thrown into the mix our routines tend to get completely messed up. 

Certain jobs demand your alertness and full concentration. Operators of public transportation, airline pilots and truck drivers are just a few of the jobs that require you to be fully awake and aware. It has been determined by investigators that sleep deprivation played a major role in the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, Exxon Valdez oil spill and the space shuttle Challenger explosion. These three high profile incidents alone cost people their lives, billions in damages and incalculable environmental damage. Your job might not be as crucial as controlling a nuclear power plant, but a lack of sleep will have a major effect on your performance. Lack of concentration and memory lapses will increase the risk of accidents while decreasing your efficiency and output. You will be a less effective team member and your co-workers will notice your irritability level and mood swings.

There are ways to get back on track and achieve a better night’s rest. Grasping your circadian rhythm is one of the most important strategies for achieving a good night’s sleep. This means that you need to set a regular bed time and wake up time and adhere to it daily (this includes weekends). If you stick to a routine you’ll find that you’ll wake up naturally as opposed waking up to an alarm clock. If you still need an alarm and feel groggy in the morning you may need to set an earlier bed time. Make sure you get plenty of sun light during the day and try to exercise a little to tire yourself out. Avoiding large meals, caffeine and alcohol in the evenings might also help you avoid those restless nights.  You can easily educate yourself online by going to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) or National Sleep Foundation (NSF) websites.

Although January 1st has come and gone it’s never too late to make a 2015 resolution to get more sleep. Your friends, family and coworkers will appreciate your new restful attitude. By the holiday season next year you will be rested and ready to tackle those delightful in-laws, crowded shopping malls and long car rides.

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Brad Lindemann
Sales Coordinator, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

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