Falling Asleep At Work?
The workplace – a location where we spend much of our waking hours throughout the week. Whether you work in an office, the outdoors or even from home, a well-rested and energized mind is crucial to good work performance.
Yet, it can be difficult for many of us to stay awake and focused at work. It is an all-too-common feeling – the onset of drowsiness, the need for stimulants such as caffeine, to stay alert and awake.
Being tired at work not only decreases job performance, but could also lead to dangerous safety breaches on the job, especially if your job requires high physical skill and/or exertion.
More often than not, the lack of or poor quality sleep is the main culprit behind those drowsy sensations at work. How can we sleep better and have more energy? How not to fall asleep at work?
To help you combat falling asleep at work, we present to you these tips and tricks:
- Avoid unnecessary technology use 2-3 hours before sleep time. Light, both artificial and natural, has the ability to interfere with our sleeping patterns, which are governed by our circadian clock (also known as biological clock).
Light suppresses melatonin, the hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm and induces tiredness to help you sleep.
Hence, the presence of light leads to a more active mind – not the best condition you want to be in at bedtime.
Of all the spectrum of light in the world, blue light has the worst effect on melatonin suppression. Blue light is emitted by your mobile phones, tablets, computer screens, televisions and similar devices. To get better sleep, simply avoid using your electronics at least 30 mins before bedtime.
If you absolutely must, use a blue light filter on your devices to reduce the amount of sleep-killing light reaching your eyes.
- Use dim, warm lighting in your bedroom. Dim yellow to dark orange lights work best. Dim and warm lighting allows you to illuminate your room as needed, yet do not interfere with your circadian rhythm as much as bright, blue-whitish lighting.
This is because it does not suppress melatonin much at all; of all the visible spectrums of light, warm lighting has the least effect on melatonin production. In fact, warm lighting can be very calming, relaxing and easy on the eyes!
- Read before bed. Remember how bedtime stories used to be a daily ritual when we were kids? Yes, being lost in another world can help your brain relax and destress, leading to a more positive mood and sense of well-being.The brain gets a cognitive boost when your imagination is allowed to run free, as is usually the case when reading. The combined effects of lowered stress and increased imagination results in a better condition for sleep. There is a reason why bedtime stories are so effective!
At the same time, reading gets you away from your electronics, so no more melatonin-suppressing blue light here.
- Sleep earlier and sleep more! This is probably the most obvious solution, but statistics have shown that Singaporeans do not clock enough sleep. A study conducted by SingHealth Polyclinics showed that four in 10 people had less than seven hours of rest a night on weekdays.
The study also found that sleep-deprived Singaporeans tend to use mobile devices in bed or in the bedroom and have caffeinated drinks two hours before turning in. Doing these things close to bedtime can lead to an impaired ability to fall asleep, so try to avoid them! This allows you to get more and better sleep, thus ensuring that you wake up feeling refreshed and great, to start your day.
Sleep is a vital part of our lives. It is during these precious hours that our body works to repair, grow and build the immune, nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems. Thus, we need a healthy amount of it to allow our body and mind to rest and recover. This allows us to perform our very best during our waking hours and not doze off on the job. Sleep better and sleep more today!