At times, your job can be dangerous. Therefore, you must stay alert. So, how important is sleep for safety? Here’s how much rest is really needed.
How Much Rest Is Really Needed to Stay Safe at Work?
Most medical professionals agree the average adult should get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day. Nevertheless, this varies by individual and age. For example, some people can function on 6 hours of sleep, while others prefer to get closer to 10. Additionally, teenagers usually require more sleep (8-10 hours) while those over the age of 65 often require less (7-8 hours).
What If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
You may know someone who prides themselves on only sleeping 5 hours per night. Yet, as sleep expert Cynthia LaJambe explains, in most cases, these people don’t need less rest. They’ve simply trained themselves to accept the negative impacts of sleep deprivation.
Numerous studies show not getting enough sleep:
- Slows thinking
- Reduces reaction time
- Increases forgetfulness
- Diminishes attention span
- Interferes with reasoning
- Decreases problems solving abilities
- Impairs decision making
- Limits learning
In other words, if you’re overtired, you aren’t performing at your highest levels. Unfortunately, the harmful effects don’t end there. Ongoing sleep deprivation also leads to a host of medical problems including:
- A weakened immune system
- Weight gain
- An increased risk of heart disease
- Higher rates of breast, colorectal and prostate cancer
- A greater chance of developing adult-onset diabetes
Top Ways to Improve Your Sleeping Habits
- Set a Schedule
A schedule not only allows you to budget enough time for sleep but also sets your body’s internal clock. After a few weeks, you’ll automatically start to wake up and wind down at the same time each day. And, yes, weekends count too. Of course, sticking to a routine 100% of the time is impossible for most people. So, aim for close enough. After all, everyone deserves a late night or a sleep-in Sunday now and again.
- Nap If Necessary
That’s right. Naps are allowed… IF you nap smart. A twenty-minute, midday power rest will help you recharge. However, a three-hour, late afternoon snooze makes it harder for you to sleep through the night. And this, in turn, can further complicate your sleeping problems.
Even a little bit of daily activity, reduces insomnia and improves the quality of your sleep. If hitting the gym isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Consider taking a twenty-minute walk, shooting hoops at a nearby park or tackling an at-home exercise routine.
Are You Looking for More On-the-Job Safety Advice?
FirstStaff publishes weekly blog posts on topics ranging from Fall Prevention Tips to 8 Obvious Safety Reminders. And if you’re hoping to find a job that lets you sleep better at night, our recruiters would be happy to help. We place forklift operators, assembly workers, warehouse associates and other light industrial staff with top companies in Hot Springs, Arkansas and beyond. Browse all our available openings and discover your next opportunity today!