Sleep deprivation, what an epidemic this has become! We all know how important it is to get our zzz’s. But it’s not enough to just get some sleep. We need restful sleep in order for our body to regenerate itself and heal from many ailments. The CDC has published numerous articles on how sleep deprivation affects your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, and more. Chronic sleep deprivation, which is considered your constant inability to get restful sleep, can lead to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, hypertension, and obesity. Aside from being unhealthy for you, sleep deprivation is also dangerous. Sleep insufficiency has been linked to motor vehicle accidents, on-the-job accidents, and medical errors. But what can we do to help ourselves overcome this problem?
How does our job influence our sleep? Well, the work that we do directly affects our sleep, this, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The Verge published an article identifying the jobs that cause people the most sleep deprivation and those that cause the least. For starters, it’s no surprise that “airline pilots and religious workers tend to get the most sleep.” But jobs that require people to work at odd hours throws off the body’s internal clock, which leads to “less, poorer quality, sleep.” These include factory jobs, health care, food preparation, and emergency services jobs as well.
So how much sleep do we really need? The CDC reports that “school-age children need at least 10 hours of sleep daily, teens need 9-10 hours, and adults need 7-8 hours.” (See Insufficient Sleep is a Public Health Problem.) What can we do to establish healthy sleeping habits? The CDC recommends four things:
1- Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning
2- Avoid large meals before bedtime
3- Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime
4- Avoid nicotine
With these tips in mind and a healthy lifestyle consisting of healthy eating and a solid exercise regimen, we can significantly improve our sleeping habits and have a better way of life. Easier said than done, right? Let’s give it a try, afterall, we only have our life to lose! For more information, visit Your Job Could Be Costing You Sleep.
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