WELL SLEPT MAKES A WELL BODY
Positive sleep strategies
Getting the right quality and quantity of sleep is vital to achieving optimal health and wellbeing.
Yet, sleep is often the thing we readily sacrifice to ‘get it all done’.
And we know it doesn’t benefit us.
Sleep is an essential function that enables our body and mind to rest and recharge, ensuring we’re refreshed and alert when we wake up.
Benefits of better sleep
Sleep plays a key role in keeping us both physically and mentally healthy.
However, work schedules, day-to-day stressors, travel, medical conditions or shift work can present challenges to getting enough sleep.
Healthy adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
More than 30% of adults have poor sleep patterns that lead to fatigue and irritability.
Those who regularly sleep less than five hours each night is at greater risk of longer-term mental health issues.
If sleep deprivation becomes consistent, or a habit – then the consequences can begin to show.
A healthy diet, regular exercise and positive lifestyle habits all contribute to better sleep.
The health benefits of better sleep include:
1. Reduced risk of weight gain and poor eating decisions
2. Stronger immune system
3. Improved memory and decision making
4. More energy to enjoy life
5. Improved concentration, alertness, and response time
6. Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
7. Improved social and emotional intelligence
8. Greater creativity
Sleep and work
When we get enough sleep, we’re better at whatever we do.
Fatigue has real impacts on our focus, decision-making and general mood.
Fatigue can result in performance issues like:
- Poor hand-eye co-ordination
- Slow reaction times
- Inattention and difficulty focusing
- Difficulty communicating
- Lower mood and/or mood swings
- Reduced mental processing and problem-solving capacity
- More likely to take risks
- Lack of awareness of performance limitations
A study conducted by Dawson & Reid found that 17 hours without sleep is equivalent to driving with blood alcohol level of 0.05%. After 24 hours without sleep, it increases to an equivalent of 0.1%.
Technology and sleep
Last but not least, when it comes to sleeping well, we need to look frankly at our technology use.
While mobiles, tablets, computers, and other devices have become an important, if not essential, part of our daily life, they can have a negative effect on our sleep.
The blue light emitted by the screens can stop our brain producing melatonin which assists with sleep.
Try to have at least a 30-minute gadget-free period before heading to bed.
Invest a little time now to audit your sleep routine and put some positive changes in place – you won’t regret it.
Dos and don’ts of sleep
There are changes we can make today to improve the quality and quantity of sleep we’re getting.
Don’t sleep on it – make a positive change to recharge properly.
Some tips to consider:
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – even on weekends
Exercise within two hours of going to bed – exercise stimulates your body and can make it difficult to fall asleep
Create a comfortable sleeping environment – keep the room cool, quiet, and dark with comfortable bedding
Consume caffeinated drinks in the evening – avoid coffee, tea, and other caffeine
Use your bed only for sleep and intimacy – avoid eating, studying, or using technology
Drink alcohol before bed – alcohol may cause a number of sleep issues for you
Use an alarm clock if you need one – it’s a better solution than keeping a mobile phone by your bed
Eat a heavy or spicy meal before going to bed – try to allow sufficient time to digest your meal
Exercise during the day – it will help you to wind down more easily in the evening
Go to bed hungry – have a light snack if you need to
Spend time in natural light during the day – this promotes melatonin production that helps your body know when to sleep and when to wake up
Engage in stimulating activity right before bed – avoid playing competitive games, paying bills, having difficult conversations or anything else that might keep your brain awake
Use relaxation techniques before bed – take a warm shower, do some breathing exercises, or read a book to help you unwind
Nap during the day – or keep it to no more than 30 minutes so as to not disrupt your sleep
Sleep is an important and fundamental part of wellbeing. Help your employees improve their sleep quality with tailored content and programs delivered by Springday. Learn more about our solutions or chat to us about how we can help you.
Dawson, D., Reid, K. Fatigue, alcohol and performance impairment. Nature 388, 235 (1997).