It’s the middle of the work day, and you are seriously dragging. You can barely keep your eyes open, and even the venti latte you got from Starbucks this morning isn’t doing much to help. The more you fight it, the more you just want to put your head down at work and take a nap, but that’s generally frowned upon by the boss. You”re probably wondering: Why can’t you stay awake?
We all have days where we didn’t sleep well because the baby would not stop crying or the dog would not stop barking. As long as those days are rare, we can usually push through them and do our best to be at least somewhat productive. If those days aren’t rare, though, and if you’re having trouble staying awake multiple days a week, then there’s probably something else at work, and your health and your reputation both depend on you figuring out what that something is.
Your body hurts
All kinds of aches and pains can make it hard to sleep, but one of the worst is back and neck pain, especially when it seems to run right through the back of your head and into your spine. You may feel a pinched, aggravated feeling that just won’t seem to go away no matter how much you do to fix your posture. If the pain persists, it’s time to look at both the chair you’re sitting in and the bed you’re sleeping on.
The best kind of chair to work in is a rolling office chair with plenty of back support. It gives you freedom to move around if, say, you need to roll over to a coworker’s desk to check something, but it also gives your back and neck plenty of support. It should be cushioned and comfortable. A cheap plastic chair or a hard metal chair isn’t enough. If you’ve got a bad chair at home or work, then it’s time to get a replacement.
When you sleep, you should have a pillow that is comfortable for you. Some people like a firm pillow, others like a soft pillow, and some people like something in-between the two extremes. It doesn’t matter how fluffy a pillow is if you don’t like fluff. If you’ve tried every conventional pillow and they just aren’t doing it for you, considering switching to a waterbase pillow. It may be just what you need to keep your head and neck aligned properly.
Your sleep quality stinks
It’s not enough to get seven or eight hours of sleep. That goes a long way towards making sure you’re rested, but if there’s a problem with the quality of sleep, then you’re going to feel tired and cranky regardless. Some people swear they got enough sleep but still wake up feeling like they barely slept at all. Others are plagued by nightmares that never seem to give them a break. If you’re in the first category, think about how loud a sleeper you are. Do you snore a lot? Do you sometimes wake yourself up with a sudden gasp or snort?
If so, talk to your doctor about the possibility that you’re suffering from sleep apnea. If a sleep study reveals that’s the issue, then you’ll likely be told to use a CPAP machine. The sleep masks that come with those machines take some getting used to, and you’ll need to make sure to buy a CPAP cleaner to keep your device sanitary, but once you adjust, your quality of life should improve along with your quality of sleep. Nightmares can be trickier to solve, but you should still talk to your doctor and discuss your options.
Are you or a loved one concerned about the inability to stay awake?
What are doing about it?
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