Sleep Deprivation: Why Getting 5 Hours or Less Sleep A Night Is Just Like Being Drunk!

As shift workers we’ve heard it all before – in order to feel healthier and have more energy, we must get more sleep.

But when you work crazy and irregular hours like we do, it’s certainly not an easy thing to do.

However in my quest to help you to become a much healthier and happier shift worker – I want to make sure that you fully understand just how important sleep is.

You see according to research, most adults need between 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.

But what exactly does “need” mean?

Consider this:

If you’ve been awake for 17 hours straight, then your performance is equivalent to that of someone who has a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%?

Now that’s the legal blood alcohol limit for driving in many countries around the world!

So, getting 5 hours or less sleep a night (as many of us do far too often) – is just like being drunk.

Need more proof on how sleep can save your life?

Studies in Canada revealed that when clocks were put back at the start of daylight savings – there was a dramatic fall in the number of road accidents.

Pretty scary isn’t it?

So whatever you do – don’t make your sleep deprivation worse by running on little sleep day after day, week after week, year after year.

Stop and take stock of your sleeping habits right now.

Allowing your bodies to get at least 7 hours a sleep a night on a consistant basis is a BIG ask for anybody – and especially so if you’re a shift worker.

But even if can just manage to do it a couple of times a week – then it’s certainly better than not being able to do it at all.

Trouble Sleeping? Then Take Inventory On What Thoughts Are Going Through Your Head!

If you’re a shift worker who has trouble sleeping then there could be a myriad of reasons why this is the case, but today I’d like to discuss something that one of my subscribers recommended.

Now I don’t ordinarily ‘name names’ (so-to-speak), but I will tell you that ‘Eric’ replied to my one my ‘Healthy Shift Worker’ email tips, and shared with me what he does to help reduce his stress and get a good night’s sleep.

So, what was Eric’s recommendation?

To close the door to your bedroom and take a few deep breathes and think about all of the things that your hard work goes toward.

For example time with the family, vacations, hobbies, and anything else that makes you smile and enjoy life, because not only will this help you fall asleep – but it will help you to fall asleep on a good note.

Sometimes when we go to bed at night (or day) – depending on your shift schedule, it can be VERY HARD to get to sleep because our brains are working overtime. They can be buzzing with all of the things that happened at work that day, making it near impossible to fall asleep.

So I would like to ask each and every one of you who is reading this article right now, to take a leaf out of Eric’s book and be grateful and thankful for your shift working job.

Because many times we question ourselves why we get up at these ridiculous times of day and go into work to a job that we may not necessarily overly enjoy.

So just take inventory and remember your ‘WHY’.

Remind yourself ‘why’ you go into work each day and why you work so hard in your shift working job, because when you do – your whole mindset and attitude towards work can change for the better.

Not to mention it also helps you to get a good night’s sleep 🙂 Thank’s for sharing Eric!

Shift Work Sleep Disorder – Is Your Bedroom To Blame?

If you have ever suffered from some kind of shift work sleep disorder, have you ever considered that your bedroom might actually be partly to blame?

You see until you create a sleep-friendly environment, you will be forever struggling to get a good night’s slumber.

One of the best things that you can do to enhance both the quantity and quality of your sleep is to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere in your bedroom. The cosier your bedroom – the more relaxed you will feel and the more sleep that you will get!

What is extremely important is that you promote a calming atmosphere that’s conducive to sleep, and which is also free from annoying interruptions and irritations.

Here are a couple of tips to help get you started:

1. Room temperature and air circulation – most people find cooler temperatures ideal for sleeping but you just need to find your own comfort level. According to experts, 18-21 degrees Celsius tends to work best.

2. Eliminate noise and distractions – noise can definitely disturb or interrupt your sleep. You might want to consider purchasing ear plugs that are comfortable and unobtrusive to your sleep.

3. Block out any distracting light – your bedroom should be as dark as possible as too much light can signal your body that it’s time to wake up. Eye masks are a great idea, as are thick curtains, shades or blinds.

4. Your bedside clock – do you have an annoying “tick tock … tick tock” noise beside your bed that’s distracting you? Because a ticking clock will only add to your shift work sleep disorder, as this noise can be quite stressful and annoying.

Replace a ticking clock with a digital version, and make sure that you turn it away from your bed so that you’re not constantly checking the time to see how many hours you have left to sleep! This can certainly stress you out as you focus on how much time has passed since you went to bed and how little time you have left before you get up. Gosh, I don’t know how many times I’ve done this in the past!

So take a good hard look around your bedroom to see where you can make some changes that will help enhance a more sleep-friendly environment. The good news is that even small, but subtle changes can make a huge difference to the quantity and quality of your sleep.

And if you’re a shift worker who struggles to get a good night’s sleep – then this has got to be music to your ears!

Exercise = Improved Sleep + Weight Loss!

Did you know that recent studies have revealed that shift workers are prone to being overweight? It’s information that probably wouldn’t surprise you as many shift workers are struggling with their weight in some way, shape or form.

But what you might not be aware of is the strong correlation between being overweight and having poor sleeping problems.

So if you are a shift worker AND you’re over weight, then you really need to do something about it because your sleep deprivation is going to lead you to even greater health problems later down the track.

So quite simply if you want to get more sleep, then you need to shed some of those excess kilograms!

And one of the best places to start is by increasing the amount of exercise that you’re doing. Now as a shift worker you’re probably cringing right now at just the thought of doing any exercise because quite frankly, you’re probably too tired to do anything remotely energetic!

Sounding familiar? Well as a fellow shift worker I certainly “hear you” but just stick with me here.

You see everybody, whether or not they want to lose weight – benefits from simple, regular exercise. Why? Because our bodies are designed to do a certain amount of physical effort every day.

If we go back in time 100 years ago, it was actually quite difficult to live without doing some sort of exercise such as walking, doing manual work, housework, lifting or just carrying things around. But unfortunately thanks to today’s modern, mechanized lifestyle it is quite possible to live without ever fully exerting yourself. And this is unhealthy for three simple reasons:

1. The body has muscles that are designed to work everyday, and if they don’t the muscles get weaker and our body begins to store energy as fat.

2. Exercise is one of the best ways to flush out the toxins that stress can create in the body.

3. It is scientifically proven that exercise improves sleep.

So just by gently increasing the amount of exercise that you do everyday can help you to reduce stress, lose weight and even more importantly – help you to get a better night’s sleep.

Now if you’re a shift worker that has got to be music to your ears!