Struggling at work due to not getting enough sleep is a common issue – nearly 40% of US workers reported dealing with fatigue at work, according to the Sleep Foundation. If you experience sleep deprivation on a chronic basis, it can negatively affect your productivity and performance, in addition to causing you stress and making you more inclined to experience physical health conditions.
Check out these seven ways to combat sleep deprivation in the workplace:
1. Make Time to Move
Getting your blood pumping can give you a boost of alertness when you’re fatigued. Make time to move throughout the day – even short periods of walking around can provide energy and help make your workday easier to handle.
2. Use Caffeine with Care
Drinking caffeine can be beneficial for overcoming sleep deprivation at work; however, if not handled cautiously, it could exacerbate the problem. Use caffeine with care by having a serving at the times of day when you’re most tired, such as first thing in the morning and the early afternoon slump – just make sure to have a clear cutoff time so you don’t have trouble falling asleep later.
3. Take a Power Nap
Similar to caffeine, naps can be helpful for dealing with fatigue but could also be counterproductive if not approached carefully. Take a power nap on a day you are sleep deprived – limit it to 10-20 minutes to get a boost of energy without falling into a deeper sleep cycle and ending up feeling groggier when you get up.
4. Eat an Energetic Lunch
Fuel your body to feel more awake and make it through the day. Eat an energetic lunch with a nutrient-dense meal with protein, vegetables, and grains and avoid heavy, greasy food and anything with sugar – it may give an initial boost, but you’ll feel even more tired when it quickly wears off.
5. Stay Hydrated
Being dehydrated can also contribute to feeling sleepy so ensure you are remembering to drink. Stay hydrated and drink water throughout the workday to help feel more alert and able to focus naturally.
6. Brighten Up Your Surroundings
Lighting can make a difference when you’re trying to make it through the workday when you’re sleep deprived. Brighten your surroundings by turning on the lights and opening the blinds. If possible, try to get outside occasionally to get a dose of natural sunlight and fresh air to help invigorate you.
7. Develop Good Sleep Habits
Although some temporary sleep deprivation due to personal circumstances can be overcome, it is crucial not to have it be the standard. Develop good sleep habits to ensure a full night’s sleep is the norm. Avoid anything stimulating, such as caffeine, exercise, or viewing electronics, when you’re approaching bed time, and set a sleep schedule and stick to it.
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