There are times during the day we all want to go to sleep for a nap, but our schedule prevents that from happening. We become distracted, tired, irritable, and our job performance suffers.
Working from home or being self-employed is no different. Self-employed people often work long hours, sometimes different amounts each day that wreak havoc on sleep schedules. The result can be devastating to a person’s health or ability to make a living.
Here are tips to help avoid daytime sleepiness:
Exercise regularly. Try to exercise three times a week, twenty minutes each time to raise your cardio level and work your muscles. Five times a week is better, but if that’s not possible, even ten minutes a day of vigorous walking at break time and/or lunch time is acceptable.
Exercise helps to raise metabolism and give the body a natural energy boost.
Naps are okay, but not in the late afternoon. A fifteen to twenty minute early in the day or around noon is okay to help revitalize the system, but late in the afternoon the affect is reversed and the person’s sleep schedule is affected.
Try to arrange a pattern to your day. Trying to accomplish everything at once only serves to frustrate and over exert your energy level. Ask your boss or manager to prioritize everything they need “right now.” Set a steady, achievable work pace and stick to it. Try to keep distractions to a minimum.
Get enough sleep at night. Setting a steady sleep schedule is far better than two hours here, three hours there. Plan a bedtime, a wakeup time and stick to them. If you’re still sleepy, go to bed fifteen minutes earlier for a few days and see if that helps. If not, go to bed fifteen minutes earlier still.
Keep distractions out of the bedroom. Television, reading, work and other distractions need to be eliminated so you can get a good night’s sleep. Distractions demand your attention, forcing you to stay awake to pay attention, robbing you of sleep.
Eat a well balanced diet. Have your meals at the same time every day, and avoid eating within a few hours of bedtime. Food in the stomach demands energy from your body, and interferes with sleep.
For those whose schedules don’t allow meals any closer than a few hours before bed, try eating the main heavy meal at lunch, and have a light, low-fat meal at dinner instead.
Have a bedtime routine. Do the same thing every night before going to bed, and you’ll train your body to know it’s time to sleep. Try Yoga relaxation exercises before bed if unwinding is difficult.
Avoid alcohol as a sleep aid. Alcohol is never a good idea as a sleep aid. Your body becomes tolerant of the amount, thus you need more to achieve the same effect. If you suddenly stop, your body goes into withdrawal symptoms, even if the amounts are mild.
Manage your stress. If stress is waking you up in the middle of the night, it’s imperative to identify and deal with the source(s) of your stress. Perhaps simple counseling, talking to your employer or other management techniques may be employed.
Seek medical help. If you are getting more than seven hours of sleep every night, but are still sleepy during the day no matter what you try, seek medical attention. Perhaps a medical condition exists that needs treatment.
Using these tips can help you obtain the sleep you need. Don’t be afraid to seek medical attention if it’s warranted.
This article is untended for diagnosis of any medical condition nor advocate or prescribe any specific medication or treatment. Always seek the advice of a licensed physician for proper diagnosis or treatment of any disease or condition.
Source: Camille Peri, “12 Tips to Avoid Daytime Sleepiness,” Web MD Website, Reviewed 19 January, 2010
Source: Mayo Clinic Staff, “Stress Management: Identify Your Sources of Stress,” Mayo Clinic Website, 23 July, 2010