Do you find yourself dozing off in office? You are not alone, says a new study. Here’s how to tackle sleep deprivationLack of sleep is so common in the white-collar world today that it is visibly affecting their performance at work. If you often find yourself nodding off in meetings, you have the company of lakhs of corporate employees whose sleep deprivation is upsetting their productive waking hours.An employee-based health institute in the US recently conducted a study of 1,139 employees from three companies. Lead researcher, Jen-nifer Turgiss, found that 15% of them doze off on the job at least once a week! Four key factors were preventing them from getting restful sleep — worry or stress, mental activ-ity, physical discomfort, and environmental disruptors.Another report by the National Sleep Foun-dation (NSF) declared in the past that 29% of respondents fell asleep or became very sleepy at work, while 36% had fallen asleep or nod-ded off while driving.There are several dangers of sleep depriva-tion. After a restless night of twisting and turning in bed, you will turn up groggy-eyed. You won’t be as sharp or productive as usual. Even five days of insufficient sleep can reduce energy metabolism and dietary restraint, particularly in women. A weak immune sys-tem, more risk of cardiovascular disease, dia-betes and obesity are the other adverse effects of not getting enough quality sleep.Turgiss found that the resultant tiredness re-duced one’s ability to manage stressful situa-tions. This leads to various workplace prob-lems: decreased decision-making abilities, lack of concentration, a decrease in cognitive function, irritability and less patience with colleagues, to name a few.What to do- Exercise regularly and go for brisk walks in a park.- Take short breaks every couple of hours. During this break, take a walk around the of-fice premises to refresh your mind.- A healthy diet will increase your energy lev-els.- Dim the bedroom lights before retiring for the night.- Include foods with Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. A recent study conducted in the UK found that people with higher Omega-3 had better sleeping patterns.What not to do- Avoid too much caffeine or sugar.- Don’t watch television or browse the inter-net on your laptop or mobile phone before bedtime.- Don’t use the same bedsheets for more than a week.- Avoid late night workouts.What’s causing lack of sleep?Reasons why the survey respondents couldn’t sleep85.2% said the room or bed temperature was either too high or too low to sleep soundly71.9% attributed sleeping issues to their part-ners68.6% said unwanted noise was an issue52.8% blamed it on bright lights40% had issues with their mattresses35.9% cited disruptions from children10.2% had a medical condition that inter-rupted sleep.
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