Workers need more sleep
Following last week’s presidential election, I imagine that most Americans, given the opportunity, would prefer to be Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton.
After all, Trump will soon be president of the United States.
As such, he will be privy to the halls of power and privilege throughout the globe. And, oh, the perks. He will live in the White House.
He will be waited on hand and foot. He will fly on Air Force One. Sounds pretty cushy to me. So why would I prefer to be losing candidate Hillary Clinton?
Because, unlike President Elect Trump, she will finally be able to get some sleep.
For the past year or so, watching both candidates vie for the nation’s top office, I have been agog at their round-the-clock stamina.
Many times, it seemed, they made appearances and gladhanded throngs in more than a half dozen different states in a single day.
They appeared on television morning, afternoon and night, most notably at the three presidential debates.
They attended parties and stood behind lecterns from Pennsylvania to California and from Texas to Minnesota, back and forth, up and down, again and again.
I swear I saw their motor--
cades regularly zooming through East Bradford, West Whiteland and Chester Springs right here in Chester County. And wasn’t that them in Oxford and Devon as well? Whew! In my opinion, on any given afternoon, both Trump and Clinton were unquestionably deserving of a nice, long nap.
Considering their schedules, I seriously doubt that either candidate regularly got anything close to eight hours sleep.
But then most other working people don’t, either.
“About 63 percent of Americans report that their sleep needs aren’t met during the week,” writes Sandy Smith at www. ehstoday.com. “Sleep deprivation is a societal epidemic that exists across all economic statuses, industries and occupations.”
Even, I submit, in presidential candidates.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that 11 percent of transportation workers, including airline pilots, report having felt extremely sleepy when reporting to work.
Harvard School of Public Health’s Center for Work says half of the nation’s nurses say they are chronically sleep deprived.
Circadian, a Human Resources firm focusing on performance and safety issues in the work place, states that 30 percent of all workers report getting less than six hours of sleep per night.
The irony is that sleep deprivation is increasingly linked not just to safety concerns but also to other less obvious economic issues.
According to WebMD, tired workers communicate
poorly, have bad memories and miss deadlines.
In effect, sleep deprivation can result in serious business impact.
How many clients are going to stay with a firm whose employees fail to respond to phone calls, can’t remember appointments and submit deliverables weeks or months late?
So how can you, as an ambitious employee or entrepreneur, fit in the seven hours of sleep recommended as a minimum for peak performance? Here are some ideas:
• Reconsider your career. If your job requires you to work days one week and nights the next, you may want to change occupations. Yes, the issue is that serious. Most people simply are unable to cope with a continual assault on the body’s natural rhythms.
• Do the math. As ridiculous as this advice sounds, you need to go to bed seven to nine hours before you must get up for work. Experts say many people deprive themselves of enough sleep simply by losing track of time in the evening.
• Delay television. When Johnny Carson first was on the air, fans were forced to stay up past their bedtimes if they wanted to catch his comedic monologues and entertaining guests. But that was then and this is now. If you happen to be a Jimmy Kimmel fan, for example, use your DVR and watch his CBS program the next evening instead of at its 11:30 p.m. time slot.
• Wind down. Before your bedtime, refrain from activities requiring a high level of mental and physical energy. Instead, watch a prime time television show, read a novel, take a warm bath. Avoid practicing your Zumba dance moves or jumping on a trampoline two hours before nighty-night.
• Turn off electronics.
Sleep researchers recently have found that the seemingly insignificant amount of light emitting from your cell phone can seriously disrupt sleep. So stop texting and tweeting from your bed. Surely your words of wisdom can wait until morning.
• Lower the thermostat. Human beings sleep better in cooler temperatures. This realization is the force behind a recent onslaught of pajamas and other
nightwear being touted for moisture wicking properties.
• Stay out of politics. Really. After her election loss, Hillary Clinton chose not to attend what had been expected to be a triumphant victory party at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. Some political pundits criticized her decision to beg off as letting down thousands of disappointed supporters awaiting her appearance. Not me. I think Clinton simply grabbed an unexpected perk of being outvoted: if you lose, you get to snooze.