Prioritizing Sleep

In this week’s webinar on Maintaining Mental Fitness During the COVID-19 Pandemic Dr Bill Howatt from Howatt HR talked about prioritizing sleep.  This is a topic dear to me in two ways.  The first, I prioritize sleep over all else and have done so for many years as I know I benefit from it a great deal.  I am mocked by many for my stringent sleep schedule but this is something I will not compromise.  The second, fatigue is one of the major risk factors for farming incidents and injuries.  The Cultivating Your Way to Burnout webinars on June 9 or 11th, focused on fatigue at risk management as well as the Mind the G.A.P. FARM-FARM-FARM campaign outlines fatigue at risk management (FARM) as one of the three methods to improve safety on the farm.

Why is sleep so important?

  • Sleep is one of the most vital processes for survival.
  • Comprised of four stages of REM and NREM Cycles.
  • The majority of people require 7-8 hours for optimal functioning.
  • Research is showing less than 1% of the world’s population sleeps less than 5 hours of.
  • However, research suggests that 1 in 3 people are not getting enough sleep.
  • Lack of sleep is comparable to being intoxicated.
    • 17 hours awake = 0.05 Blood Alcohol level
    • 21 hours awake = 0.08 Blood Alcohol Level

 What influences sleep?


How can sleep impact me?

Sleep can impact brain function and overall quality of life.


Here are four Micro-skills to help with your sleep hygiene:

  1. Limit caffeine and alcohol, especially before bed.
  2. Create a pre-bed routine.
  3. Disconnect from screens.
  4. Create a cozy but cool dark sleep space (15-18 degrees Celsius).

Watch your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions by writing down your thoughts, focus on your senses, practice deep breathing, and be patient and kind to yourself.

If you are concerned about your sleep, you are not alone.  Many people struggle to get a good night’s sleep and have difficulty managing their sleep.  See your doctor to rule out any physical health concerns that may be interfering with sleep and reach out for support.   Ask your doctor if there is a local sleep assessment and treatment programs, they can connect you with.  Most important, destigmatize treatment for sleep issues.

For more information or to watch the full webinar visit