Sleep Deprivation Tips – Realistic Guidelines for Caffeine and Fatigue

We all know getting quality sleep is important. I could go on and on about the negative effects of not getting enough sleep. But here’s the thing: I’m about to bring a newborn into this world, so I know I’m headed for 3-6 months of sleep-deprivation. I know from my first baby that most of the “Tips To Prevent Sleep-Deprivation” are laughable and unrealistic.

And so for everyone in the same camp – whether you’re a first responder, a healthcare worker, a shift worker, or a new parent yourself, I’ve assembled some realistic sleep deprivation tips. As someone who’s worked second shift in a bar, juggled multiple jobs during college, survived nights-with-a-newborn once before, and spent 10 years researching caffeine, I’m confident these tips can help you SURVIVE your sleep deprivation until it’s possible to get a good night’s sleep again.

GreenEyedGuide featured in

Hi there, I research caffeine, energy drinks, and fatigue in the workplace.

I’ve been passionate about the science behind energy drinks since 2003. After getting my degrees in biochemistry and food science, I wrote a book all about energy drink ingredients and safety concerns.

I’ve always been fascinated by caffeinated beverages, and by some of the energy drink stereotypes and caffeine misconceptions that just won’t go away. As a result, my mission as the “GreenEyedGuide” is to help people who deal with caffeine and fatigue on a regular basis.

realistic sleep deprivation tips from GreenEyedGuide

Sleep Deprivation Tip #1: You don't have to quit caffeine, but you shouldn't double your dose either.

In my years of experience, the most common mistake people make when they’re sleep deprived is to make twice as much coffee or buy twice as many energy drinks the next morning.

Here's The Problem

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5 Secrets to Reducing Caffeine Side-Effects

How to Enjoy Your Coffee, Tea, or Energy Drink Without the Caffeine Side-Effects

Have you ever had those days where your caffeine didn’t work? Or wondered about the difference between coffee and energy drinks? Ever worry about caffeine side-effects like jitters, anxiety, or withdrawal headaches? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Before we can talk about caffeine side-effects, we have to talk about how we got where we are today. Energy drinks have shaped the marketplace so that even “coffee snobs” are affected. With the energy drink boom, coffee companies and even tea companies have come out with ready-to-drink versions of their products in order to keep up with the trends.

This has lead to a fascinating evolution in the world of caffeinated beverages, as well as some myths and misconceptions.

Are you drinking caffeine wrong? Myths, Misconceptions, and Tips to Drinking Caffeine Like a Scientist

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The “evolution of the energy drink”
  • Surprising trends in the world of caffeinated beverages
  • Common misconceptions about caffeine and energy drinks
  • 5 secrets to enjoying your coffee, tea, or energy drink without the caffeine side-effects
    • Finding your “sweet spot” for caffeine and alertness
    • Cortisol Awakening Response
    • Sleep Inertia
    • Surprising caffeine contents
    • Using the 5 Levels of Fatigue to beat caffeine addiction and caffeine withdrawal

In this YouTube Episode, biochemist, food scientist and author Danielle Robertson Rath (the GreenEyedGuide) shares tips for drinking caffeine more strategically (using science). This presentation was delivered at Pauline Haas Public Library in Sussex, Wisconsin, on February 25, 2020.

Want more caffeine tips like these?

Do you work long, unusual, or unpredictable hours? Is sleep is the first casualty in your battle to juggle multiple roles and responsibilities? Do you constantly feel overwhelmed, overworked, or over-caffeinated?

Your Expert in Managing Fatigue and Caffeine Use in the Workplace

GreenEyedGuide is now GEG Research and Consulting

Where It All Began

I’ve been helping people manage fatigue and caffeine use for decades now. DECADES. It’s hard to believe I’ve been studying caffeine and energy drinks for almost 20 years now – my goodness, I’m getting old…

In those years I’ve witnessed the evolution of the energy drink: in 2003 every energy drink looked like Red Bull or Monster Energy; now some energy drinks are indistinguishable from ready-to-drink coffees, teas, and juice beverages. Along with the evolution of the caffeinated beverage, my business has evolved too. I’m happy to announce that “GreenEyedGuide” is now “GEG Research and Consulting”. GEG, for short, is your expert in managing fatigue and caffeine use in the workplace.

Introducing GEG Research and Consulting - PREZI presentation
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The Importance of Fatigue and Caffeine

New Name, Same Mission

My ambition as the “GreenEyedGuide” has always been to help people see caffeinated beverages the way I do, through my green eyes. I wanted to share my science background to help people make the best choices for themselves, based on facts, not fear.

For example:

What to Drink and How to Think For Every Level of Fatigue

With the new business name and slogan comes a sharper focus to the “HOW” behind my “WHY”. With my 5 Levels of Fatigue system, I can help people identify where fatigue is doing the most damage. To boost my own system, I’ve incorporated the best practices used to keep tired nurses from killing people. As a result, my Fatigue Management Workshop helps people learn what to drink and how to think for every Level of Fatigue.

Caffeine and Fatigue Research and Consulting

I published my energy drink book in 2013. In 2020, I’ve got a new book and several research papers in the works. I’ve also got a new partnership with the Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services Association, and I look forward to leading more workshops with first responders. Suffice to say, it’s going to be a very busy year…

Thank you for joining me in this new chapter.

Science Behind Kill Cliff CBD Recovery Drink

I’ve been studying energy drinks for nearly two decades. I started studying them the same time I started studying biochemistry in college: way, way back in 2003. Who’d have thought, back when your only energy drink options were Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar, that one day you’d have the option of a caffeinated drink with CBD?

What makes Kill Cliff CBD Recovery drink so special? Let’s start with a recap of the ingredients and what those ingredients do, then we’ll look at the beverage as a whole.

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Managing Fatigue in the Workplace

Updated 4/21/2020 by Danielle Robertson Rath (the “GreenEyedGuide”)

How to Manage Fatigue in the Workplace

It’s easy to imagine truck drivers, nurses, and first responders struggling to stay awake on the job, but fatigue impacts every occupation at every level. Fatigue can be as minimal as boredom or as severe as burnout. Fatigue can be physical, psychological, or both. Ignoring fatigue or accepting it as “part of the job” doesn’t just hurt employees, it also hurts the people they serve and the company’s bottom line. As a result, every company should have a plan for managing fatigue in the workplace.

The good news is anyone in any industry can make a Fatigue Management plan. After all, getting this plan started is more important than getting it perfect the first time.

In this post:

  • The Cost of Fatigue
  • Measuring Fatigue from Boredom to Burnout
  • 5 Steps to Start a Fatigue Management Plan
GreenEyedGuide featured in

Hi there, I research caffeine, energy drinks, and fatigue in the workplace.

I’ve been passionate about the science behind energy drinks since 2003. As my business has grown, I’ve expanded my focus from energy drinks to fatigue. As a result, my mission as the “GreenEyedGuide” is to help people who deal with caffeine and fatigue on a regular basis.

In March 2020, I published my second book, How to Get Sh*t Done When You Feel Like Sh*t: The Secret to Caffeine, Motivation, and Productivity for the Sleep-Deprived and Overwhelmed

The Cost of Fatigue

If you haven’t addressed fatigue in your workplace, here’s what you need to know to get started. In other words, here’s why paying attention to fatigue matters.

fatigue based mistakes in the workplace due to fatigue

Even though 93% of workers say they’ve taken action to boost their energy, 2/3 employed Americans say they’ve made mistakes at work.

 

Mistakes range from trivial to severe:

  • Making a mistake in an email (22%)
  • Missing a button or wearing mismatched shoes (23%)
  • Addressing a colleague by the wrong name (or sending an email to the wrong “Bob”) (24%)
  • Missing a meeting or other job duties (41%)

Let’s look at that statistic again. More than 9/10 people say they’ve tried to boost their energy at work, but more than 6/10 people say they’ve made a mistake for not being alert enough.

That means the actions people are taking to boost their energy are not (always) working.

Why?

Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution to fatigue in the workplace. Fatigue is a signal, and the key is to learn how to respond proportionately based on that signal.

At GEG, we believe getting enough sleep is important, but not always possible, and that more caffeine isn’t always the answer.

We also believe that even someone who is fully rested or fully caffeinated can feel physically or mentally exhausted at work. These principles are why the 5 Levels of Fatigue is so effective.

working 17 hours straight is as bad as being one drink deep at work

Measuring Fatigue from Boredom to Burnout

Fatigue might seem like the enemy but it can be a powerful tool if you know how to use it. The 5 Levels of Fatigue, developed by GreenEyedGuide, is a system for measuring fatigue, from boredom to burnout.

GreenEyedGuide’s 5 Levels of Fatigue is based on the science behind caffeine and the industry best practices of Fatigue Risk Management, recommended by organizations such as the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s Task Force on Fatigue Risk Management.

Using the 5 Levels of Fatigue helps you figure out when to “push through” the fatigue and when real changes need to be made.

For example:

  • Someone who is so tired they’re falling asleep standing isn’t going to feel better after a short walk and a glass of water.
  • Someone who ends their day feeling overwhelmed needs to make some changes, not just more caffeine.

GreenEyedGuide's 5 Levels of Fatigue
Introducing the 5 Levels of Fatigue, developed by GreenEyedGuide founder Danielle Robertson Rath​
67 percent of employees are sometimes, very often or always burned out at work
What is fatigue costing your organization?

5 Steps to Build Your Plan for Managing Fatigue in the Workplace

Once you know how to calculate your Level of Fatigue, you can build safeguards to prevent that fatigue from affecting your work.

  1. Workload vs Staffing
    • Do you have more work than people to do that work? If so, can any of that work be spread out over time or over different departments to reduce the workload of one person?
  2. Shift Scheduling
    • If you or your team works long, unusual, or unpredictable hours, do you have strategies to make sure they get enough sleep when off-duty? Is there enough time between shifts?
    • Can you adjust the work schedule so that mission-critical tasks ARE NOT scheduled for those times when fatigue-driven mistakes are most likely to happen (shift beginning, shift end, and right after lunch)?
  3. Employee Fatigue Training
    • Do you and your team know how to use the 5 Levels of Fatigue to gauge fatigue then act accordingly to lower the risk of making fatigue-based mistakes?
  4. Workplace Environment Design
    • Is the lighting, temperature, and layout of your workplace conducive to staying alert and focused on the task at hand?
    • When you or your team are most likely to feel overwhelmed or exhausted, are the tools you need to do your work (or get a quick break) right at your fingertips?
  5. Fatigue Monitoring
    • Do you and your team feel comfortable confessing when they need a moment to breathe or a place to take a 20-minute nap?
    • Is there more incentive to hide fatigue or to admit when help is needed?

Let GreenEyedGuide Research and Consulting help you build your Fatigue Management Plan

Sleep Deprived Survival Checklist - GEG Research Consulting Freebie Vault

Free Checklist: 10 Tips to Stay Awake and Energized When You're Sleep Deprived