Sleep

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You need to sleep. It’s a fact of life.

But it’s not just a matter of getting sleep. It’s a matter of getting quality sleep, and enough of it.

The consequences of getting a poor night’s sleep? Lack of focus, lack of energy, lack of concentration. You should not operate a sweeper without having had proper rest and sleep.

Tips for a good night’s sleep:

  • Create a good sleeping environment. If you work third shift and sleep during the day, use black-out shades on your windows, or wear a sleep mask. A fan or a white noise machine will help keep noises from waking you up.

Tips for a good night’s (or day’s) sleep:

  • Remove all LED lights from your room. Your eyes can open at times during the sleep cycle, and LEDs can wake you up before you want to.
  • If you work third shift, make sure your family is respectful of your sleep schedule.
  • Don’t eat sugary foods before bed. They’ll make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Use black out shades or a sleep mask.
  • Cool down the room.
  • Perhaps use a fan for white noise and cooling.
  • Become a student of sleep and how to get quality sleep. There are no shortcuts here.
  • There are now several quality smart phone apps that aid in falling asleep and tracking the quality of your sleep.

The Most Challenging shift:

The most challenging shift for a sweeper operator is the first shift back at work after time off. This is especially true for third-shift employees, who are dramatically changing their sleep schedules from the hours they kept during their free time.

Instead of trying to make the switch to your work-week sleep cycle in one night, it’s better to ease into it. A few days before you come back to work, start going to bed closer to when you would on a work night. Otherwise, you will have trouble getting the rest you need to ensure that you’re awake and alert at work.

Switching your sleep cycle too suddenly will result in less quality sleep. Be very aware when this happens and take the proper steps to stay safe.  Your company, your family, your job and your life depends on it.

One of the hardest things will be “training” your friends and family that your sleep times will be different from theirs.  If they have never worked night shift it will be foreign to them.  Eventually they will get the hang of it and respect you for being a professional.

Become a student of sleep:

Get to know your sleep cycles.  Discover what affects your sleep and manage those factors you can control.  There are some very sophisticated smart phone apps that can monitor your sleep cycles.  They can also be set to wake you up in a 15-30 minute range when you are in a light sleep phase. (verses from a deep sleep)  This alone can help you wake up refreshed.

Caffeine:

One of the most used and abused drugs in the U.S.   Studies have shown that the half-life of caffeine in the average healthy adult is 5.6 to 6.0 hours.  In other words, if you consume one 12 oz cup of coffee (120 milligrams of caffeine)  six hours later your body will still have 1/2 or 60 milligrams of caffeine providing stimulation.  Six hours after that, you still have 30 milligrams in your system.

Roughly doing the math, a cup of coffee at 10 pm, another at midnight and a third at two am.   Below is how much caffeine you will have in your system

4:00 am you will still have 240 milligrams

6:00 am you will still have 180 milligrams

8:00 am  you will still have 120 milligrams

Even if you can’t consciously feel the effects, it is affecting how deep of a sleep cycle you are able to achieve.

Feel free to keep telling your buddies that “caffeine has no affect on you”.  Unfortunately, proven medical science says otherwise.  Just be aware of it and manage it intelligently.

Energy Drinks:

A 16oz Monster Energy Drink has 160 mg of caffeine and 27 grams of sugar.   A 12oz can of Redbull has 111mg of caffeine and 37 grams of sugar.

Caffeine and sugar combined can really cause your attention level and alert level to spike.  Unfortunately, the spike is ALWAYS followed by a dip.

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