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Sleep matters

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sleep deprivation is now considered a national epidemic by the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Sleep is something most of us are chronically short on and the physical, psychological and emotional ramifications are staggering.

As part of TVH’s commitment to helping employees improve quality of life, Health and Wellness Coach Lucy DelSarto facilitated a sleep class to provide insight and information. The Sleep 101 class covered why we sleep, what is REM, how much sleep is needed, what are common challenges related to sleep, what happens as a result of sleep deprivation as well as tips on how to improve sleeping conditions.

Approximately one hundred employees participated in the classes offered. Unfortunately, many people wear their exhaustion like a badge of honor. “I only need four or five hours of sleep a night,” replied numerous sleep class participants. The truth is, you cannot continue to deprive your body of its most basic needs: air, water and sleep.

The body can function only a few minutes without air and a few days without water. At four to five days without sleep, expect extreme irritability, hallucinations and delusional episodes.

Sleep deprivation results in memory lapse, confusion, brain fog and slowed speech. Studies have shown sleep exhaustion impairs cognitive and motor performance similar to being under the influence of alcohol.

The best way to address the sleep deprivation is to make sleep a priority. Create a sleep routine and disconnect from technology an hour before going to bed. Adequate sleep has profound consequences on our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness.

10 tips to enhance your sleep:
• Stick to a sleep schedule.
• Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
• Be active - exercise, stretch daily.
• Turn off electronics one hour prior to bed.
• Use essential oils, such as lavender to promote calmness.
• Invest in comfortable bedding: sheets, mattress and pillows.
• Beware of hidden sleep stealers such as alcohol and caffeine.
• Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.
• Keep a notepad by your bed and brain dump thoughts that are keeping you awake.
• Utilize a sleep app on your smartphone or wearable device to track your sleep cycle.

If you would like to know more about TVH and the Nudge Health and Wellness programs, contact Lucy DelSarto, Health & Wellness Coach for TVH Americas, at