LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The Center for Disease Control has estimated roughly one-third of Americans do not get enough sleep each night.
And a recent article in the Harvard Business Review claims those sleep-deprived workers can cost their employers upwards of $2-thousand annually in productivity.
Paramedic Bryan Cessford, of Tri-State Ambulance, said he works a bruising schedule.
"I typically work a 24 hour shift," Cessford said. "Driving long distances and driving at night, especially when you're tired, can be challenging at times."
Cessford said he shoots for at least six hours of sleep a night.
But Dr. Ivy Andersen, a neurologist at Gundersen Lutheran, said the benchmark should be eight hours.
"With our culture now, there's just not enough time in the day to get everything done you want to accomplish," she said. "When you're not sleeping well, you're fatigued, your body feels tired, it's slower to do tasks so it takes longer to get things done during the day."
"It's just harder to concentrate and to focus," Andersen said. "That can decrease productivity as well."
Andersen added one of the best ways to improve your sleeping habits is to force yourself to wake up earlier in the morning.
"Get out of bed and take a nice shower to wake you up to start the day," she said. "That will help because then you'll be more active during the day and by the time evening comes your body's going to be ready to fall asleep at night."
Cessford said he and the medics at Tri-State take short naps at work when a shift slows down.
He also said workers are encouraged to tell a superior if they're feeling groggy, and they would then be sent home to get rest.
But Cessford said his profession demands he remain alert and ready.
"We try to rest when we can so that when we're needed, no matter what time of day it is, we're able to be alert and fulfill our duties to the best of our ability," Cessford said.
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