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American workers are exhausted, survey says

Exhausted at work? 
7 out of 10 Americans admit they've worked while tired. Nearly one in three say they do so, often, according to a survey by the staffing firm, Accountempts.
<div> The market for activity monitors, like Sony's Smartband, and sleep trackers has exploded. (Photo: GANNETT)</div>

Exhausted at work?

Seven out of 10 Americans admit they've worked while tired. Nearly one in three say they do that often, according to a survey by the staffing firm Accountemps.

And forget the stereotypes about younger people having more energy: 86 percent of millennials surveyed say they're tired at work.

"Tired workers are less productive, make more errors, are less engaged, and their attitude is not as positive," said Josh Warborg, district president for the firm Robert Half.

He suggests employers make sure their employees' workloads are manageable, encourage their workers to take breaks, and lead by example. If the boss is burning the midnight oil, employees may follow suit.

Dr. Vishesh Kapur with the UW Medicine Sleep Center agrees that long work days or odd shifts, combined with an arduous commute can add up to exhaustion.

Gray winter days may also leave some people feeling more fatigued, but we can't just blame outside forces.

"The big issue really is people just not allowing enough time in bed," Kapur said.

He says most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep at night.

How do you know if you're getting enough sleep?

"Essentially they'd be waking up spontaneously in the morning without an alarm clock and feeling well rested," he said.

Yet even when we're in bed, many of us are sabotaging our sleep with electronics.

He's seen it at the Sleep Center when people come in to be evaluated for the disorder sleep apnea.

"They're on their phone once the lights are out," he said. "You think if you're coming in for a test, that you'd turn of your phone, and let yourself sleep."

Snoring, trouble breathing, or nodding off during dangerous daytime tasks should prompt you to call your doctor.

But if you're just tired of being tired, he suggests an experiment. For a couple of weeks, give your self more time in bed without electronics. He says you might be surprised at how much more energized you feel.