It’s Sleep Week! Do you struggle to get a good night’s sleep? If so, you’re likely feeling fatigued throughout your day, which can cause serious problems for your health, your job and your life.
Symptoms of Fatigue
Fatigued individuals typically experience drowsiness, mood changes, loss of energy and appetite, headaches, and a lack of motivation, concentration and alertness. Men and women often differ in their symptoms—men may become angry, while women more often feel sadness.
Fatigue in the Workplace
Going to work fatigued even occasionally impairs your ability to perform your job at the highest possible level. The above symptoms are obviously not conducive to productivity, and can also create a safety hazard depending on the job.
Studies show that fatigue can lead to other medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and diabetes. Similarly, many health conditions can cause the poor sleep that produces fatigue.
In addition, while many people suffer simply from trouble sleeping, others have more serious sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or insomnia.
There are certain ways you can improve your sleep, referred to as “sleep hygiene.”
- Strive for seven to eight hours a night. This may involve changing the schedule you’re used to, but it’s vital to make sleep a priority.
- Keep a regular schedule—try to go to bed and wake up the same time each day, including weekends.
- Create a good sleep environment, including comfortable room temperature, minimal noise and sufficient darkness.
- Keep track of habits that help you fall asleep, like relaxing music or reading before bed. Repeat those activities each night.
There are some specific habits that will help you not only sleep better, but lead a healthier lifestyle in general:
- Eat nutritiously. Good eating habits can help you sleep better and feel energized all day. Also, avoid big meals right before going to bed.
- Exercise regularly. This also helps your sleep quality and daytime energy level. Just be sure to avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine three to four hours before going to bed.
- Limit alcohol before bed, as it can reduce sleep quality.
AUI has a number of resources to help employees live well and work well. To learn more about these, please contact us!