Saudis' habit of sleeping late impeding the working culture

July 11, 2017

Layan Damanhouri

Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH – Many government employees flocked back to work this week after the extended holidays, facing a shock to their physiological systems from sleep deprivation.

Lack of sleep will most likely cause difficulty in concentration and a decline in productivity at work, according to healthcare professionals.

“The best way to restore healthy sleeping habits is by taking gradual steps,” says Prof. Siraj Wali, consultant in pulmonary and sleep medicine, who heads the Sleep Medicine and Research Center at King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Jeddah. “Sleeping one hour earlier and waking up one hour earlier as well should be done to avoid shocking the body at once. This should take around a week and is best done before work starts.”

He added, “Unfortunately, it is our social habits and behavior that cause sleeping disorders such as eating right before bedtime, staying up late every night and sleeping all day.”

Exposure to light in the daytime is important to restore the biological clock of the body, he added.

Commenting on such social habits, life coach and public relations consultant Omar Faden said most people face insomnia and irregular sleep after the vacation.

“This is because of the change of schedule and alternating to different eating habits after fasting for a month,” he says. “This causes irritated behavior and a depressed mood, resulting in low levels of productivity.”

Faden offers additional advice to restore healthy sleeping habits, such as refraining from using mobile phones and smart devices, avoiding caffeine after dinner and avoiding taking naps in the afternoon.

Scientific studies have shown that light emanating from screens of smart devices promote wakefulness by decreasing melatonin, the body’s sleep hormone, when used two hours before bedtime.

Saudis took to social media to air their frustration over sleep deprivation upon their return to work, posting comical posts and jokes.

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