Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
While most of us are aware that getting enough sleep is good for you, not many of us are fully au fait with the reason for this. Sleep deprivation can have a really adverse effect on so many aspects of your life, including your work! Here in the UK, more than half (54%) of the population claims to struggle to sleep at night, with one in ten suffering from regular insomnia. Moreover, nearly two thirds of people are unsatisfied with the amount of sleep they get and sleep really is one of the most important activities in our lives – it is vital to our health and wellbeing.
We’re living in a fairly dramatic age, with so much going on around us that it’s difficult at times to keep up with all the changes going on in the world. In fact, we have adopted a culture of busyness, feeling that we have to be seen to be busy and productive at all times. Modern life is a challenge and it can often seem difficult to fit in all the things we need to do during the day in order to live a balanced life and fulfil our responsibilities towards others. Consequently, we don’t have the time to rest and relax, often just slumping in front of the TV at the end of the day, too exhausted to pay proper attention to what we’re watching, just glad of the chance to sit down and do nothing for a while.
When it comes to our working lives, some 30% of workers feel that they are less productive as a result of lack of sleep and one in five people admit to taking time off or arriving at work late. Fatigue seems to be fairly widespread across all sectors and sleep deprivation can have some fairly serious consequences, especially in the construction industry where safety and paying attention to details is vital in order to avoid accidents and injuries.
Employers in the UK are being urged to review their policies and procedures in order to address the issue of sleep deprivation and fatigue in the workforce. For those who do shift work, an adequate amount of sleep is even more difficult to achieve so looking at your company’s shift patterns could highlight issues that could be addressed in order to improve. In the building trade, it’s often the case that workers commute long distances on some jobs or have early morning or late meetings to attend. In these cases, a hotel room may be provided and staff should be encouraged to use this option rather than wear themselves out on a long drive home.
It’s important to realise that fatigue may build up over a period of time, going unnoticed with workers forgetting what it feels like to be fully rested. Fatigue leads to a decreased level of alertness, a vital quality when working in risky situations or operating construction machinery. Fatigue can build over the space of the work week, culminating on a Friday before the weekend enables workers to enjoy a couple of lie-ins and restore their energy levels.
The three most vital factors for good health are sleep, diet and exercise so making sure workers get enough sleep at night will also have a beneficial effect on their overall health and wellbeing. Why not raise awareness at your construction site with some leaflets and posters about the importance of getting enough sleep?