Fatigue and Sleep

According to Statistics Canada one-third of adults get less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night.1 Lack of sleep, or insufficient sleep, can lead to a variety of adverse health outcomes such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and workplace injuries. This section will explore factors associated with poor sleep quality and will highlight steps you can take to improve your sleep quantity and quality.

Staying Productive while Working From Home

Working from home has become the new normal for most workers in Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic began and forced employers to rethink their working strategy. Research has shown that WFH has positive effects on the worker such as Increased Productivity, Better Performance, Fewer distractions. With WFH comes more responsibility on the worker to ensure that the work is being completed. Working from home gives us time and space to focus better in the comfort of our own home. Unfortunately, it can also lead to feelings of loneliness and social isolation when you are working alone with no colleagues around you to share thoughts or ideas. This is why having a strategy on how to effectively work from home is essential for workers to do their job as normally as possible.

Here are some tips to improve focus and your productivity while you work from home:

  • Create a routine for sleep, chores, breaks, and fixed working hours. Avoid working more hours than you usually do.
  • Unplug from all work devices at the end of your work hours, and put them out of site.
  • Have a designated office space and workstation where you go to work each day.
  • Maintain regular communication with colleagues and supervisor using video calls or phone calls.
  • Try to eliminate distractions by having a schedule for the family, taking outdoor breaks, and silencing personal phone notifications.
  • Create a regular to-do list with action items to create personal deadlines in the absence of physical supervision.  
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Struggling to keep your eyes open? How fatigue can harm your body and what you can do about it

No matter how mindful and focused we are, fatigue can catch up with us.

According to a recent poll by Decima Research, one-third of Canadians spend three to 10 hours a week struggling to keep their eyes open at work. The obvious answer is to get more sleep, but it’s not always that simple.

Here are some tips to help you fight the effects of fatigue:

  • Create a sleep sanctuary and get a good night’s sleep
  • Limit intake of coffee and artificial stimulants
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Strive for work-life balance
  • Exercise, but not within 3 hours of sleeping
  • Try to remain positive
  • Rest and take breaks during the day
  • Meditate, don’t medicate
  • Nap, only if necessary
  • Seek medical attention if necessary
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Do you know about your workplace wellness programs?

Wellness programs and initiatives have become a trend among employers in hopes to better the quality of life of their employees, create a healthy culture and save on future health care costs. The benefit of any program however is dependent on employees’ participation, among other things. Research shows that many are not even aware of what their employer offers and the wellness programs available to them, and when they are, not everyone participates. Here is why you should become aware, and participate in your workplace wellness programs and take advantage of what your employer is offering: 

5 reasons to participate in workplace wellness programs

  • Better overall wellbeing – wellness programs have positive affect on physical, social, and mental wellbeing
  • Increased productivity – with better health and work-life balance, employees are shown to miss less days of work due to sickness, and be more productive
  • Better sense of community – when employees participate together 
  • Healthy work culture – your participation and enthusiasm can contribute to better health culture at the workplace 
  • Ownership of your health – say yes to making healthy choices by participating


Read more to see what action you can take to get most out of your workplace wellness programs.

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Why am I so Tired?

We have all seen toddlers cry or melt down for no apparent reason. It is usually a reaction to being tired. The same thing can happen to adults, except that instead of crying, we simply absorb the effects of fatigue, allowing it to severely affect our quality of life.

How to conserve energy to fight fatigue:

  • Organize cupboards, storage areas and work areas so that frequently-used supplies, food items or equipment are always within easy reach.
  • Keep heavy items on a work surface to avoid having to move them when it’s time to use them.
  • Duplicate heavy items: keep a vacuum cleaner both upstairs and downstairs in your house.
  • If you’re working in the garden, use a gardening bench or a padded kneeler to reduce joint stress and conserve energy.
  • Delegate: ask or hire other people to carry out certain tasks that you find tiring.
  • Have groceries and other goods delivered to the home.
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Benefits of Practicing Yoga

Stress is a killer. It can cause a variety of musculo-skeletal disorders, from back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome to shoulder and neck tension. It can cause eye strain, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbances and headaches, and chronic stress is the leading cause of anxiety and depression.

Increasingly, medical researchers are studying ways to cope with stress that do not involve medical or pharmacological intervention, and one of these remedies is yoga. Research shows that practicing yoga has the power to beat stress, along with a myriad of health concerns that are caused by stress.

Yoga can:

  • Relieve stress
  • Treat musculo-skeletal disorders, from back pain to neck tension
  • Relax the body and mind
  • Fight pain
  • Relieve tension and reduce the risk of injury
  • Make you a better communicator
  • Promote the act of self-compassion
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External Links

Australian Government Healthy Workers Initiative

This web site is designed for employers and includes a range of information and resources to assist with making workplaces healthier. Have information for both employers and employees

You may find this site useful if you want to learn more about

  • Moving more
  • Eating well
  • Maintaining healthy weight
  • Alcohol use
  • Being smoke free
  • How to create a healthy workplace
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Health Report: Duration and quality of sleep among Canadians aged 18 to 79

Insufficient sleep (short duration and poor quality) is associated with a range of adverse health outcomes, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, injuries, all-cause mortality, depression, irritability, and reduced well-being.(1) In today’s 24/7 world, insufficient sleep is common.(2)(3)

This site provides information about

  • How many Canadians are meeting sleep duration recommendations
  • Male vs. female sleep duration
  • Percentage of seniors meeting sleep duration recommendations
  • Sleep Quality
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10 Ted Talks for When You are Feeling Burned out

As the TED Talk summary says these talks are for when you are feeling worn out, exhausted and bleary-eyed… they are a little something to ease your frustration and get you feeling better.

Topics covered include:

  • 10 minutes of mindfulness – Andy Puddicombe
  • How to make stress your friend – Kelly McGonigal
  • The power of time off – Stefan Sagmeister
  • Flow, the secret to happiness – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • The Art of Stillness – Pico Iyer
  • Wait it Out – Imogen Heap
  • Your elusive creative genius – Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Are you Human – Ze Frank
  • How to Succeed? Get More sleep – Arianna Huffington
  • The happy secret to better work – Shawn Achor
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