How Employees Can Get Better Sleep

January 3, 2024
How employees can get better sleep safety training image

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), nearly four out of 10 employees in the U.S. suffer from sleep loss, and when workers are fatigued, they're at a higher risk for injury. About 13% of work injuries are attributable to sleep problems.

While employers can help by optimizing schedules, allowing napping, and educating employees, ultimately the responsibility for getting enough sleep lies with the individual. The following tips from the NSC are some of the ways employees can reduce their risk of fatigue:

  • Check for Consistency in Sleep Duration
    • If people are sleeping more on days off than workdays, they may not be getting enough sleep. Seven hours is the minimum recommended, but some people need more
  • Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
    • Use light to help with keeping this schedule; morning light helps keep individuals in a better mood and helps synchronize their internal clock
    • Don't eat big meals close to bedtime, as this can affect sleep quality; have dinner several hours before bed each night
    • Avoid exercise in close proximity to bedtime; regular exercise generally improves sleep, but not if done too close to bedtime
  • Set Up for Sleep Success
    • Avoid chemicals that affect sleep — caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can all contribute to sleep problems
    • Check with a doctor about side effects before starting a medication, and follow up if the medicine may be affecting sleep quality
    • Make the bedroom conducive to sleep; a quiet, dark room that is not too hot and not too cold will help individuals relax and get to sleep sooner
  • Create a Routine
    • Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine and stick to it
    • Avoid stressful activities before going to bed so that the bedroom is not associated with anxiety

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Credit: NSC

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