Workplace fatigue is showing up in many industries across the U.S., and it’s responsible for poor job performance and more workplace accidents. Too many workers are not getting the recuperative sleep they need, and more and more of them are dealing with chronic exhaustion.
Working while tired is about the same as working while drunk. It can manifest in confusion, slowed reactions, and even falling asleep. Some of the other effects of fatigue can include:
- impaired focus
Workers who suffer from exhaustion can feel weak, lack motivation, and have little energy. Since there is no one cause of workplace fatigue, workers may need to take a multi-pronged approach to cure it.
Several Factors Can Lead to Fatigue at Work
The symptoms of fatigue are present in most workplaces simply because there are so many contributing factors. There can be physical causes, such as heavy lifting and operating machinery, and there can also be mental causes like working on something that requires sustained focus or interacting with others.
Long commutes, night shift work, inadequate sleep, and long hours on the job can also play a role in being exhausted. But of all the factors that lead to exhaustion, insufficient sleep is the culprit that just about anyone can control.
American workers are not getting enough sleep
A shocking 35% of Americans don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. And sleep deprivation is costing the U.S. economy $411 billion each year. Just like food and water, sleep is a basic biological need.
While there is no single recipe for a good night’s sleep, anyone should be able to find something that works for them. Here are some suggestions that are worth trying:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time each day
- Make exercise part of your daily routine
- Eat at regular intervals, consuming a diet that’s balanced in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and protein
- Use your bed for sleeping (avoid working, reading, or watching T.V. in bed)
- Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol close to your bedtime
- Turn off your cell phone
- Make the room as cool, dark, and quiet as possible
- If you’re not sleepy, get up and read or do something peaceful instead
- Ask your family members to be respectful and quiet if you go to bed before they do
Snacks for a Good Night’s Sleep
If you are hungry close to bedtime, a light snack that’s low in fat and easy to digest could help you get to sleep. Try one of these:
- A piece of toast with a small banana
- Fresh fruit and yogurt
- Cereal with milk
- A multigrain bagel, toasted and lightly buttered
- Oatmeal with raisins
- Digestive cookies and milk
Numerous inter-related factors can cause fatigue, but getting the right amount of recuperative sleep will typically be your best defense against it.