Sleep Deprivation at Work

sleep deprivation at work blog post

The National Sleep Foundation found that 50 million Americans suffer from lack of sleep on a regular basis. On any given night, only 27% of Americans fulfill the recommended amount of sleep of 7 to 9 hours. It is no wonder the CDC declares sleep disorders a public health epidemic. Fatigued workers are 70% more likely to be in accidents at work compared to someone who slept 8 hours. Getting 4 hours of sleep is akin to drinking six beers. Although safety issues may be lessened for office workers, the effects of poor sleep hygiene are still pronounced.

Lack of sleep can be ground zero for other health issues.

Those without sufficient sleep are at a higher risk for heart disease, obesity, and decreased cognitive performance.

For busy professionals, it is vital to prioritize sleep for one’s long term well-being.

Insufficient sleep can drive people to reevaluate the demands of their job. A negotiated work schedule that allows for a balanced life that prioritizes sleep will enhance a worker’s well-being and productivity. 

Flexible schedules, work from home options, and in-office naps all contribute to a more productive and happy workers. Employees should work with managers by emphasizing the productivity benefits that will be achieved through employer-supported sleep initiatives. Shorter shift times, bright lights, and healthy food options all contribute to a worker’s productivity.  

Companies that do not address sleep deprivation contribute to the United State’s $411 billion in economic losses per year, the highest of any nation by far. The Rand Corporation estimates over 1 million lost working days per year solely due to the effects of sleep deprivation on companies. Even for small businesses, one fatigued worker costs employers upwards of $3100 annually. 

How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Your Work?

Decreased Immunity

Lack of sleep compromises the body’s ability to fend off diseases. Research found that the flu vaccine is less effective when the patient had gotten less than 7 hours of sleep at some time in the last week. Sleep is critical for the production and release of cytokines, which provide signals to cells that regulate and mediate immunity and inflammation. One night of lessened sleep can down-regulate one’s immune response when injected with a flu virus.

Sleeping one hour less may increase your body’s chance of developing a cold or flu by 30%.

Decreased Productivity

Research at Hult Business School found that even 30 minutes of extra sleep affects work performance. Even beyond a general lethargy and lack of focus, it takes sleep deprived workers longer to finish tasks and solve problems.

People who sleep at least 7 hours can expect to perform 10% better than sleep deprived colleagues. 

Emotional Instability

Sleep loss causes irritability and an inability to self-regulate behavior. Displays of negative emotions increase with chronic fatigue. Psychologists recommend patients to set a consistent sleep schedule and eat a fatty, protein rich breakfast in order to curb one’s emotional instability. A consistent waking time is more important for emotional regulation than a consistent sleeping time. Blue light in the morning is critical to wake up the body and mind, whereas that same blue light at night sabotages sleep. 

Lack of sleep affects the body’s ability to fight disease and the mind’s ability to regulate itself. Mood shifts downward, along with one’s productivity at work. However, there are strategies that can be used to lessen the effects of sleep deprivation. The most obvious is to get more sleep at the first available opportunity. 

How can you function with little to no sleep?

Without the use of caffeine and other stimulants, there are simple ways to increase alertness. However, each method is not a replacement for actual sleep and its effects are temporary. The only way to address chronic fatigue is by practicing good sleep hygiene by setting a consistent sleep schedule. 

  1. Ice water | Cold Shower
    • Drinking ice water temporarily decreases fatigue, however, cold showers or an ice bath are the is a temporary way to function with little to no sleep. Submersion in cold water for over 2 minutes increases the body’s immune function and the mind’s ability to regulate mood. 
    • To effectively use a cold shower, slowly lower the temperature of the water to not shock the body. Continue to breathe normally. Finish the shower as cold as you can handle for at least thirty seconds.
  2. Sunlight or Artificial Blue Light
    • Artificial blue light and sunlight both decrease melatonin production and signal wakefulness to the mind. To effectively prepare to work sleep deprived, expose yourself to light as soon as possible after waking up. 
    • Natural sunlight breaks during work will provide a mood boost. You may find newfound energy after a short, brisk walk in the fresh air. If napping is not allowed, sunlight may be your savior. 
  3. 20 Minute Power Naps
    • Many companies recognize that employee performance suffers when sleep deprived. To respond to this, on-site napping is no longer taboo at companies such as Nike, Zappos,  and Google. Quiet spaces for employees to nap increase productivity and general health and wellness. 
    • To most effectively nap at work, limit the nap time to 20 minutes. Because a full sleep cycle is 90 minutes, 20 minutes is not deep enough into the cycle to not be interrupted. One 20 minute nap can temporarily act as a full sleep cycle and provide wakefulness, as long as it is not a long term solution to chronic fatigue. 
  4. Physical Activity
    • A small increase in heart rate associated with physical activity decreases the effects of sleep deprivation and increases wakefulness. A sustained increase in heart rate is most effective and can be achieved through a walking desk, or frequent physical activity breaks. Bodyweight exercises can be substituted for an under the desk elliptical or a standing desk. Thirty squats every 15 minutes mimic the effects of caffeine without any negative side effects. 
  5. Eat Small Meals
    • Large carbohydrate dense meals increase drowsiness. To combat sleep deprivation, small protein and fat rich meals provide sustained energy all day. Small meals every 2.5 to 3 hours are the most effective regimen for performance. Four ounces of protein with vegetables and an omega rich oil will sustain your body until a full night’s sleep can be achieved. 

How can you Identify Chronic Sleep Issue?

Losing a few hours of sleep a week is not enough to qualify for chronic insomnia. Most sleep issues people experience are short term. Stressing about a meeting on monday generally leads to better sleep on  monday night. However, for people who experience consistent sleep problems, they may be diagnosed with chronic insomnia.

Signs to Look out For

  1. Difficulty falling asleep
    • The average person takes 14 minutes to fall asleep. 
  2. Waking up and being unable to fall back asleep
  3. Waking up too early
  4. Relying on Caffeine to wake up
  5. Relying on Alcohol to fall asleep 

Chronic sleep issues generally is a self-fulfilling cycle. Anxiety around sleep can cause you to take longer to fall asleep, be unable to fall back asleep if awoken, and cause you to take up early. Once you feel tired, you may lean on caffeine to help with the symptoms, further causing poor sleep and a reliance on the substance emerges. To avoid chronic sleep issues keep a consistent wake up time and talk to your doctor if problems continue for an extended period of time.

Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies

Janitorial Supplies Improve Workplace Health

Allwik Economy Spill Kits

Commercial Cleaning Improves Workplace Health

Janitorial Supplies are an essential part of work safety.

Read on for tips on protecting yourself and the office using professional cleaning supplies.

 
The workplace environment has a significant impact on employees’ performance, productivity, and well-being. No matter the industry, janitorial supplies provide a clean workplace that will keep your staff healthy and efficient. A clean workplace means something more than having a shining building.
 
There are many signs which can reflect poor sanitation conditions in the workplace. Some of these signs are dusty and dirty floors, liquid spills and leaks. Unnecessary materials lying on the shop floor, broken containers, overflowing containers and dust bins, etc.
 

Housekeeping and cleanliness

 
Cleanliness and housekeeping are practices which ensure work areas, facilities, and access routes stay in good condition. In a work setting, housekeeping is essential to maintaining a hazard-free and safe work environment. The practice applies to industrial workplaces, warehouses, manufacturing plants and conventional offices. Wherever health hazards can pose a threat to workers. Sanitation experts put great emphasis on workplace safety programs and the need for Professional Cleaning Supplies. Following are some of the reasons why a clean workplace is a safe workplace:
 

1. Dry floors prevent Slips and falls

 

Allwik Economy Spill Kits
Allwik Economy Spill Kits

Apart from preventing germs and illness, maintaining dry and clean floors will help you reduce instances of slips and falls in the workplace. Allwik Economy Spill Kit is a recommended product to clean oil, water-based, and chemical spills. GP MAXX Enhanced Heavy Weight Sorbet Pads is another simple and effective solution to deal with industrial liquid spills.

3M Sorbent Pads
3M Sorbent Pads

You can also use 3M Sorbent Pads that clean up spills quickly. You can talk to your Commercial Janitorial Supplier to know what cleaning products are best for your facility. Moreover, recommended floor cleaners should be used to remove scale, rust and oxides from floors. It’s important to use products that do not contain harmful chemicals.
 

2. Disinfectants prevent the spread of germs

 

Micro-Kill+ Disinfectant Wipes
Micro-Kill+ Disinfectant Wipes

Make sure that your workplace adheres to basic standards of hygiene. Prevent the spread of disease-carrying germs which are rampant in shared spaces like office desks and washrooms. Micro-Kill Disinfectant Wipes provide an easy and cost-effective way to prevent the spread of germs. It is effective against difficult-to-kill microorganisms including VRE, MRSA, and tuberculosis within a few minutes. These wipes are also effective against bloodborne pathogens hepatitis B, C and HIV-1.

Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray
Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray

 

Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray is a professional surface sanitizer which deodorizes, cleans, and disinfects a variety of surfaces. Without leaving any harsh chemical residue or fumes. Equip your facility with Professional Janitorial Supplies and educate your staff on how to make a good use of these cleaning solutions.
 

3. Proper air filtration lowers workers’ exposure to dust and vapors

 

3M Full-Face Reusable Respirator
3M Full-Face Reusable Respirator

It is hard to see them, but vapors, dust and other dangerous flying objects can create a hazardous environment for your employees. Creating an effective ventilation system in your facility can reduce airborne transmission of respiratory infections.
Yet, in some industrial environments, workers need personal protective equipment such as 3M Full-Face Reusable Respirator to maintain a healthy and productive work environment. The use of dehumidifiers can also help cut air pollutants and promote clean air.
 

4. Disposal of waste materials keeps workplace clutter-free

 

Large Plastic Dust Pans
Large Plastic Dust Pans

An unhygienic workplace is likely to produce more cases of employee absenteeism which could cost your business more than you might think. Start with the basics and ensure your facility is being cleaned up on daily basis. Basic cleaning equipment such as Large Plastic Dust Pans and Lobby Dust Pan Brooms are essentials which play a key role in day-to-day cleaning activities.
 

Lobby Broom
Lobby Broom

If you allow waste materials and trash to pile up, it will not only produce clutter but also prepare safe havens for pests which is not at all good for your work environment. So, make sure waste materials are disposed of regularly. Considering the low costs of professional cleaning supplies, establishing a clean and safe environment should not be a expensive.
 

5. Personal protective equipment (PPE) ensure employees’ safety

 

Premier Pro SMS Blue Coveralls with Hood & Boot
Premier Pro SMS Blue Coveralls with Hood & Boot

PPE protects your staff against many health and safety risks. From chemical spills to sparks and moving objects, protective equipment plays a key role in ensuring employees’ safety. Premiere Pro SMS Coveralls are a simple example of how a piece of garments can protect the wearer against many hazards. Similarly, Premier Pro Blue SMS Frocks is highly effective PPE ideal for industries such as the cleanroom, pharmaceutical, laboratories, food industry, non-toxic liquid handling, and power plants.

 

Premier Pro Blue SMS Frocks
Premier Pro Blue SMS Frocks

Apart from providing necessary protective equipment to your employees, provide them with instructions, supervision, training and encouragement so they can work safely and responsibly.
 

6. Implementing good hygiene practices can improve your company’s image

 
Workplace environments should be hygienic and safe for workers and for those who are involved in the production or material handling process. Implementing a workplace hygiene policy will ensure that all your staff is following the same standards and using commercial janitorial supplies to avoid all kind of hygiene-related diseases.
 
If you think there is nothing wrong with your clean-looking workplace, think again. Around 3 million nonfatal workplace illness and injuries were reported by private industry employers in 2012. When it comes to the workplace, maintaining personal hygiene and cleanliness needs professional cleaning supplies.
 

About Harmony

 
Harmony is a trusted source of premium quality janitorial supplies. We strive to help businesses maintain a clean and germ-free work environment by providing premium quality cleaning and commercial janitorial supplies at affordable rates. Visit our online store to learn more.

Why Employees Don’t Wear Hearing Protection

why employees dont wear hearing protection

Reasons Employees Don’t Wear Hearing Protection

Believe it or not, our hearing ability is a huge investment when it comes to work. That’s why it’s essential to take good care of our ear health while in the work field as much as possible.

 
There are several work environments that expose employees to noise levels that are actually unsafe and could promote hearing-loss such as places like construction sites or steel mills. It is vital for workers to keep a sound hearing ability as it is a crucial factor within the work environment, e.g. with regards to communication.

 
Without the use of proper hearing protection devices (HPD), workers may not be able to protect themselves from occupational noise exposure and thus it might be the case for them to acquire hearing impairment, or worse, hearing loss. This could also be the grounds for reduced productivity of workers in the field.

 
Unfortunately, most workers don’t wear HPD because of a number of reasons which affect their consideration to do so. Here they are:

Reason 1: Comfort Level

EAR MUFFS W/ ADJUSTABLE HEADBAND

Wearing HPD for some workers depend on how they actually ‘feel’ while wearing them. The comfort level of any wearable device greatly matters. Wearing HPD that are built and designed with very little consideration to a wearer’s ease may in fact be the grounds of some workers to NOT wear them at all.

 
The solution for this Hearing Protection Device dilemma is to actually give a good amount of time to actually canvass and research about which types of HPD prefer, both ease and functionality. After all, a comfortable worker is a productive one.

Reason 2: Supply vs. Demand

3M Foam Corded Ear Plugs

Sometimes, certain work environments lack in supply of hearing protection devices, so that not all of the workers get to wear one. Because of such a HPD deficit, some employees tend to work with no aid of HPD in an excessively noisy environment, e.g. construction sites and airport fields, to name a few.

 

In other cases, workers tend to go from one area to another. That’s why areas which are prone to high levels of noise should have hearing protection available for roaming workers at all times.

Reason 3: Hearing Conservation Training

E-A-R Swerve Banded Hearing Protector

Companies that operate in environments with extreme noise levels should consider organizing Hearing Conservation Training for their workforce. Not only is it crucial for firms to consider the wellness of their workers but it can also help their employees work productively.

 
Also, promoting initial training can help workers gain knowledge on the importance of HPD usage to their own benefit as well as promote the habit of wearing HPD at work.

Reason 4: Noise Levels in an Environment

Thunder T3 Noise Ear Muffs

Of course, the demand on the use of hearing protection in the work field depends on the nature of work. More specifically, hearing protection device usage considers the levels of noise that are being produced in the environment plus the length of time that workers are exposed to such noise.

 
Simply put, if you work in an ordinary office environment then you would not need earplugs or earmuffs, since such environment has very little probability of exposure to extreme noise. The only earplugs you’ll be needing in an office are earphones so you can stay upbeat and groovy while at work.

 
On the contrary, work environments that are exposed to tremendous noise levels should always consider HPD for workers, e.g. power drills that register 98 decibels (dB) which could cause hearing damage in a matter of 30 minutes.

 
To sum it up, in working environments with noise level ranging from 85 dB (the “Action” level) and up, workers must consider wearing HPD to protect them from damaging their hearing ability.

 

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