Sleeping for safety

May 1, 2009

Not getting an adequate amount of sleep can negatively impact the health and safety of workers, according to the National Sleep Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Wash­ington. Working or driving while drowsy can put workers and those around them at real danger. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 70 million Americans suffer from potentially dangerous sleep problems. NSF offers the following tips to help workers get a good night’s rest:

  • Have a set bedtime and try to perform the same “sleep rituals” every night. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool and quiet; and that your bed, sheets and pillows are comfortable and supportive.
  • Regular exercise can improve sleep habits, but be sure to finish your workout at least three hours before going to bed.
  • Avoid food and drinks high in caffeine – including coffee, soda and tea – for at least eight hours before bedtime. Alcohol also should be avoided a few hours before bedtime.
  • To strengthen the association between bed and sleep, remove televisions, computers and work material from the sleep area.