Being healthy while on (and off) the job is key to being a productive, valuable, and successful employee. There are some people out there who completely devote themselves to work, school, or other activities, but life is a balance. Keeping your body and mind healthy directly impacts every other aspect of your life, including your job. This idea may be considered common sense, but it never hurts to sit down and remember what is important to living a healthy lifestyle. My next four posts will be a collection of topics that a person should consider when maintaining healthy habits for on the job. These topics will include sleep, eating, exercise, and a clean work environment.
I would like to highlight sleep first because I believe getting enough sleep is the single most important health related activity. Getting enough sleep seems fairly obvious, yet plenty of busy students become sleep deprived. According to an article, titled “Let the Bulldawg Sleep!” by the University of Georgia Health Center, college students get an average of 6-6.9 hours of sleep each night. This is a good start, but every single adult should be getting a full 8 hours of sleep each night. Consequences of less than 8 hours of sleep can be:
- High risk of physical illness
- High risk of mental illness
- Increased stress level
- Weight gain
- Decreased academic performance
The article goes on to give the following tips for preventing sleep loss:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
- Perform a relaxing activity such as reading or listening to music before going to bed.
- Create a sleep-conductive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable, and cool.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress.
- Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before going to bed.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid naps during the day.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and other mind-altering drugs before bed.
It is a well-known fact that your mind is working best when it’s well-rested. Sure, you can continue guzzling cup after cup of caffeine to keep yourself “awake”, but nothing compares to the deep, undisturbed relaxation of a good night’s sleep. According to another article, featured by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43.7% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 find themselves accidentally falling asleep during the day. Being in college makes it easy to sacrifice sleep for other activities, but a complete 8 hours every night is essential.
I recommend visiting each article I’ve referenced above. They are short reads that answer other questions such as what kinds of sleep illnesses there, where you can get help, and the effects of sleep on learning.
Hopefully this post has reminded you of the importance of sleep and what good sleep actually is. In my next post I will cover more healthy habits related to eating.
Of possible interest: Healthy on the Job