Construction projects were put on hold during the pandemic as state-mandated shutdowns spread across the nation. Once the projects resume, it will be essential to keep new safety guidelines in practice while striving for quality output.
Similarly, considering how sleep plays a vital role in determining the overall efficiency, practices that support healthy sleeping habits should also be promoted.
Keeping this in mind, here is an in-depth analysis of how sleep affects productivity in the construction industry.
Why Sleep Cycles Matter
According to the National Health Interview Survey, the average sleep time for construction workers is 7 hours and 24.6 minutes. That’s about the same amount of sleep for workers in agriculture, physical science and building, and ground maintenance. Many people naturally sleep at night and rise with the sun, as this cycle directly impacts their melatonin levels.
Melatonin is the sleep hormone that slows in daylight hours, which corresponds with the mind being more alert. It then increases at night, culminating in another sleep cycle. Establishing a regular sleep pattern of waking up in the morning, and returning to sleep at night helps the body balance other hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Scientists have learned by studying the effects of melatonin that lack of sleep or erratic sleep patterns may trigger cognitive disorders.
Medical experts now believe getting sufficient exposure to the sun each day enhances alertness and mental focus by raising serotonin levels. These levels directly affect a person’s mood, cognition, learning, and memory while converging to affect overall mental focus. A balanced level of hormones in the body will allow a worker to have greater control over their appetite, mood, and sleep. Showing up to work grumpy and hungry will result in a negative impression of the worker in front of his superiors and colleagues.
How Deep Sleep Helps
Lack of sleep can impair physical ability as well. Waking up in the morning and exercising raises body temperature, which sharpens the mind at the same time. Body temperature then lowers at night, which naturally helps a person wind down for sleep. It’s essential for both mental and physical health that an individual experiences rapid eye movement (REM) during sleep, which is the third stage of the sleep cycle, also known as “deep sleep.”
The deep sleep phase cleanses the brain as human growth hormones (HGH) reset the body by repairing cell tissue. This complex combination prepares workers for another day of mental alertness and physical productivity.
Emphasize the Need for Adequate Sleep
Employers can take the initiative to inform construction workers they need the right amount of sleep to maintain reliable performance on the job. By emphasizing this point, construction companies can maximize productivity and raise awareness. Falling out of rhythm with normal sleep patterns can cause a hormonal imbalance that leads to insomnia.
Lack of sleep can eventually culminate in a serious accident on the job. It may further impair communication skills, which are vital to ensure good relations with the client and coworkers. Many times construction errors are a result of miscommunication.
Embracing the Value of Sleep and Productivity
Since construction can be a very dangerous job, it’s imperative that all workers understand the value of sleep and how it affects productivity. Operating huge machinery like a crane requires complete focus. Prior to OSHA making strict regulations about such equipment use, deadly crane accidents weren’t as rare as they are now. However, cranes can still tip over and cause massive damage if the operator fails to follow regulations due to drowsiness.
Advising workers to get adequate sleep is crucial for the construction industry to be both safe and productive. Be sure your company and subcontractors have all established the proper insurance coverage before resuming project work.
Contact the experts at Proforma Construction, Bay Area, for all your construction needs. We are available at your service even during the pandemic.