22 May 2018

Sick or sleepy? You ruin it for everyone by forcing these kids/employees to push themselves.


Put simply, would you prefer that one sick employee or student remains away from everyone else for the duration of their contagious illness or would you prefer that more people to get infected and productivity plummets?

In a competitive world, it's sad how people push themselves (or are pushed) to show up for work even when sick. You don't have to. Even with a chronic illness or a family member's illness, there are ways to manage it. Businesses always have a contingency plan for employee absence. It's their job to arrange for that, and not something that you have to worry about when sick.

What you should do:
Even if your illness is not contagious, stay at home and get rest. A company will never sacrifice their profitability for you, so you have no obligation to sacrifice your health for them either. I've seen this happen with multiple people. Sacrificing health for work or schooling is never worth it.


Again, put simply: Would you prefer that people remain productive throughout the day by taking naps in-between or that they remain productive for half a day, making mistakes (which will cost you a lot in re-work) and struggling to remain awake and focus?

When you feel sleepy, you aren't supposed drink tea/coffee to shake off the feeling. You are supposed to sleep.
There's some kind of a 'laziness-related' social stigma attached to sleeping in class or in office. It's high-time we got rid of this sleep depriving culture.
Human beings are not meant to sleep only at night. We naturally have either Biphasic sleep or Polyphasic sleep. This means that when you feel like sleeping, it's perfectly ok to sleep or take a nap. You don't have to apologize to anybody. If you want to be super-human and avoid sleep, you need to take a serious look at how sleep deprivation can wreck havoc on your body.
I had a teacher who scolded students for yawning in her class. I have another teacher who feels insecure when students feel sleepy in his class. Both of them didn't seem to observe that it wasn't the fault of their teaching. All they had to do was allow the students to take a 10 minute nap.

What you should do:
If you are at a school or college, the authorities should either specifically allow for a nap break during afternoon classes, where students can rest their head on the table and take a short nap, or arrange for monitored sleep boxes.
If you work at a company, convince your bosses on how a short nap can help boost productivity without negatively affecting morale. Don't worry. There's plenty of evidence about this already. Companies can definitely introduce sleep boxes.

Sleep deprivation begins early in life and continues unless you stop it:

  • Waking through the night when the kid is born.
  • Kids sleep cycles and duration being ruined when woken up for school.
  • The horrible sleep-depriving culture of "burning the midnight oil" or waking up early during exams.
  • Eating improperly cooked or burnt food, leading to sleep loss
  • Having to wake up early to go to office.
  • Staying up to complete a project (which never gets complete).

In an ideal world, one should be allowed to sleep and wake up as per their natural sleep cycle rather than society's insensitive work cycle. When one is sick, one should be able to take rest instead of worrying about losing out in the rat race. Advice like this can only show you the way. You are the one who decides to walk the path.

You won't believe it until you measure it

If you feel you are getting enough sleep, write down how many hours of sleep you think you are getting. Then, keep a piece of paper and a pen by your bedside. Every night and morning, note down the approximate time you woke and slept.
Have two columns.
  • Column 1: Number of hours of un-interrupted sleep. 
  • Column 2: Total sleep = un-interrupted sleep + remaining sleep duration in hours.
Interrupted sleep happens when you are woken by noise at night, need to go to the toilet at midnight, are woken by discomfort in your stomach after having eaten bad food etc.

Do this experiment at least for a week or two.
I assure you; you'll be startled at how less sleep you are getting. Do let me know what your results were and I'll tell you how to improve.

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