Work­ers need more sleep

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - Kath­leen Be­g­ley Colum­nist

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.

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