Do you have trouble sleeping? Seems like you’re not the only one. The online survey conducted by Harris Poll among 1,077 U.S. adults employed full and part-time has some interesting results. Seems like a lot of Americans don’t get enough sleep.
To be more exact, 74 percent. The reported average of sleep hours they get on a usual workday is 6.9 hours of sleep. This is not enough sleep to get people going, the recommended minimum is between seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
However, 6.9 hours per night is just an average, meaning that some sleep even less.
66 percent of people reported that they would be better employees if they had more sleep. However, they do not blame their employers for their lack of sleep. 74 percent of them claims that their manager does encourage them to take time off when they need to take care of their health and wellness.
Another interesting thing is that age does play a part when it comes to sleep deprivation.
Younger employees seem to be more rested than the older ones. To be more exact, 18-34-year-old employees sleep more (7.4 hours) than those ages 45-64 (6.5 hours) on a usual work night.
Gender also makes a difference when it comes to sleep deprivation. Male employees report 7.1 hours of sleep on a usual work night, while female employees report 6.8 hours of sleep.
Sleep deprivation is a serious problem. It affects practically everything in your life. From your work performance, your relationships with other people to your health (physical and mental). To say that people are cranky when they are tired is an understatement. If the period of you tiring yourself goes long enough, the consequences can be severe.
If you are among people that have trouble with sleep, there are things that you can do to help yourself.
- Cut caffeine after 2 pm
Even when the kick that caffeine gives you wears off, you can feel really tired but unable to sleep. That’s the caffeine that is still in your body and doesn’t want you to sleep properly.
- Make a sleep schedule
Organizing always helps. If you have trouble in the sleeping department, set a sleeping schedule. If you are persistently going to bed at the same time, your body will adjust to it.
- Take time to wind down
People often can’t have a good night’s sleep because they feel stressed. It is important to have time for yourself when you can take it easy and relax. Relieve yourself from stress and you will sleep better for sure.
- Sleep in a cooler room
Researches show that sleeping in a warm room can seriously disrupt your sleep. Experts usually recommend setting your bedroom thermostat between 65° and 75°F—a good guideline, but pay attention to how you actually feel under the covers.
- Kill the lights
If there is some source of light in the room you’re sleeping in, that will surely make it more difficult for you to sleep.
- Avoid using your phone, laptop, iPads an hour before sleep
The lights that these devices emit keep you awake longer, and prevent you from feeling sleepiness. Rather than grabbing your phone and scrolling through social media’s homepage, grab a book and read it.
It’s not that big of a news that exercising helps you in every aspect of your life. If you exercise, you will feel better and sleep better. However, don’t do it just before you go to sleep because it will actually make you feel more pumped, and that’s not how you want to feel right before you hit the sack.
- Try listening to some white noise or ASMR
The sound of white noise and ASMR are soothing and they will make you concentrate on that, instead of your mind wandering and thinking about 100 different things. ASMR isn’t for everyone, some people love it and some people can’t stand it. But if you still haven’t done it, you should definitely give it a try. At least to find out in which of these two categories you fit.
The bottom line:
Getting enough sleep is of great importance, and the data from the survey should worry us. We should strive to change that. However, be sure to know when you just have problems with sleep and when you’re being overworked.