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Restful nights: How improved sleep can transform a farmer's day

Restful nights: How improved sleep can transform a farmer's day
Restful nights: How improved sleep can transform a farmer's day
Restful nights: How improved sleep can transform a farmer's day
Restful nights: How improved sleep can transform a farmer's day

You've no doubt heard of the TV show, The Farmer Wants a Wife.

Well, perhaps they should also produce a TV show called 'The Farmer Wants Some Sleep'.

That is because research has shown that around 40% of farmers in New Zealand cite lack of sleep as a real issue, which could seriously affect their ability to do their job properly.

When you consider the tasks they have to do, it suddenly places them at a high risk of injury or even death.

Moreover, it's not just our Kiwi cousins that are feeling the pinch, many Aussies experience sleep issues too.

So, how then, can our farmers get the restful night's slumber they need?

In this post, we will highlight how a much-improved sleep can transform a farmer's day and show you the best ways to get it.

How much sleep do farmers need?

On average, farmers, like the rest of the human population, need between seven and nine hours of good quality sleep every night.

If they don't get it, they run the risk of health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart attack, depression and stroke, which can all severely impact their ability to do their job properly.

Sleep deprivation can also lead to issues such as poor decision-making, lack of energy and concentration, depression and rashness.

So, considering the machinery kit they have to operate and the animals they deal with, it could have potentially devastating consequences if they are not mentally on top of their game.

Why can't farmers sleep?

There are several reasons why farmers might not be able to sleep.

These include everything from stress and worries about their business to health conditions, sleep disorders and poor lifestyle choices.

The good news is that many of these issues can be easily rectified just by making a few adjustments to your daily routine.

How can farmers get better sleep?

If you, your partner or a family member is a farmer who is struggling to sleep, employing the tactics below might go a long way towards improving the overall quality of the shut eye you or they get.

Create an environment conducive to sleep

It sounds obvious, but you will be amazed how many people try and sleep in an environment that is not conducive to doing so.

Some farmers have trouble sleeping due to outside noise or excessive light infiltrating their bedrooms, while others find it difficult to nod off on beds that are too small or uncomfortable.

Others try to sleep in rooms that are too hot or cold and there are some whose bedrooms are cluttered to the point where it is hard to relax.

While all of these issues have negative effects on a farmer's ability to sleep, they can be easily fixed.

For instance, fortifying your window's insulation and replacing curtains made of heavy material can go a long way towards cutting out light and noise.

Additionally, the simple act of buying a new, bigger bed with a more comfortable mattress and bedding can revolutionise your potential for sleep, as can installing a good or better reverse-cycle air-conditioner.

Ultimately, these small changes make for big results.

Address sleep disorders

For many farmers, the reason they can't sleep is because they or their partner suffers from sleep apnea.

This sleep disorder results in a person's breathing constantly stopping and starting throughout the course of the night.

If left untreated, it could significantly disrupt their sleep cycle, to the point that it can be damaging to their mental and physical health.

If you or someone close to you is experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional.

A sleep specialist may recommend CPAP therapy as a treatment.

For more information see CPAP Direct.

Manage stress better

Everyone has to deal with stress in their life, but especially farmers who often have to worry about things out of their control, such as the weather and market forces.

Stress can be a major cause of lack of sleep because if your mind is in overdrive with worry, it's going to be much harder for you to nod off.

Thankfully, there are several ways you can manage your stress to reduce the chances of you grappling with your thoughts all night.

They include techniques for meditation and deep breathing, yoga, listening to music and even laughing, which, granted, might not seem to be the most farmer-like of pursuits, but trust us, they will significantly improve your chances of sleeping at night.

Diet and Lifestyle

If you currently find yourself struggling to sleep every night, you should consider quitting smoking, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink and eating a healthier, balanced diet.

Again, you'll be amazed at the difference it will make.

This information is of a general nature only and should not be regarded as specific to any particular situation. Readers are encouraged to speak with their GP and seek appropriate medical advice based on their personal circumstances.