Are Your Employees Getting Enough Sleep?
Friday 19th March is World Sleep Day. To mark this health awareness day, Tonic wants to reiterate its importance in achieving good physical and mental wellbeing. Sleep is a vital, often neglected, component of every person’s overall health and wellbeing.
Did you know that experts suggest the average adult should get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Studies however show that most of us are only sleeping between 5-6 hours sleep per night!
This sleep deprivation can increase stress and anxiety levels, lower immunity, sabotage good intentions, make us more prone to accidents and drastically effect concentration levels? This is why we say it is vital to prioritise our sleep.
How Sleep Affects Performance in the Workplace
According to the Sleep Foundation:
While work schedules and stress can affect sleep, the opposite is true as well. If you’ve ever nodded off at your desk or during an important meeting, you know that sleep loss can have a detrimental impact on work performance. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling tired, less creative, and make it more difficult to stay focused on important projects.
Understanding the impact of sleep deprivation on productivity and taking the steps to address it could have significant benefits for both employers and employees. A study by RAND Europe and Cambridge University said that a lack of sleep is the leading cause of low productivity:
“A worker sleeping less than 6 hours per night loses 6 working days due to absenteeism (or more often than not presenteeism) per year more than a worker sleeping the recommended 7 – 9 hours.”
Research confirms that a lack of sleep directly affects employees performance work. It makes you more likely to make mistakes, decreases concentration levels, increases reaction times and affects your moods.
On a personal level, it is critical to find out why you are not sleeping enough. Left unchecked, sleep deprivation can compound and develop into serious mental and emotional disorders, as well as put you at risk for serious physical ailments. This is why Tonic take a holistic approach; we focus on the pillars of wellbeing. Sleep being one of these pillars. As we say in our Sleep and Relaxation Workshop…“To be at your best, you must rest”!
COVID-19 & Sleep
There is little doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic has has a profound affect on all of our lives; including mentally, financially and physically. A study by academics at King’s College London has concluded:
‘Significant proportions of the public say that they have experienced changes to their sleep patterns since the UK government announced the lockdown measures.’
Their findings also found:
- Half of the population say their sleep has been more disturbed that usual
- 2 in 5 people say that they’ve slept fewer hours a night on average
- 2 in 5 report having more vivid dreams than usual
- 3 in 10 say they’ve slept for longer but felt less rested than they normally would
World Sleep Day
World Sleep Day falls on Friday 19th March. It was originally set up by the World Sleep Society (WSS) and takes place every year to help raise awareness on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving.
This year, their theme is ‘REGULAR SLEEP, HEALTHY FUTURE’ and aims to call all wellbeing professionals to advocate and educate the world about the importance of sleep for achieving an optimal quality of life and improve global health.
Studies have demonstrated that stable bedtimes and rise times are associated with better sleep quality in young, middle-aged adults, and seniors. Regular sleepers have better mood, psychomotor performance, and academic achievement. worldsleepday.org
Prioritise Your Sleep
So, hopefully by now you know that without question, the consequences of not sleeping well are plentiful! It is really bad for our health, our wellbeing, our performance, our relationships… the list goes on.
With this in mind both; on an individual and business level; take a few moments to think about, and really try, to prioritise getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis. It is critical to a high performing, happier and engaged workforce.
DID YOU KNOW: The human body regulates sleep the way that it does with eating, drinking and breathing. Although we often think of sleep as a time when our bodies and brains shut down – its’ not quite true. When we are asleep, our bodies are “hard at work”, restoring energy, repairing cells and releasing essential hormones. Sleep serves as the ultimate time to heal and recover, so we can take on the next day feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things! Circadian rhythms can influence important functions in our bodies, such as hormone release, eating habits, digestion, and body temperature.
To optimise your circadian rhythm, you should aim to keep a regular sleep schedule by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. This regularity is key, along with your sleep quality and sleep quantity. Ultimately to ‘sleep well’ we need to address all three components: quantity, quality and regularity. Each works in tandem to ensure your brain and body are well rested and prepared to operate at an optimal level.
The amount of sleep you get is important. Some people need more sleep, and others need less, but fewer than seven hours of sleep a night puts most people at risk of becoming sleep deprived. Setting a regular bedtime, even on weekends, can help ensure you get a full night’s sleep.
While ensuring you get a full night’s sleep is important, the quality of that sleep is equally relevant. While you might not be awake, your body and mind could still be restless. Avoiding things that disrupt your sleep, like stimulating activities and certain substances, can guarantee you sleep deeply.
Sleep is based on the body’s circadian rhythm, as we said above. Maintaining a regular and predictable sleep schedule will help your body’s circadian rhythm to stay regular.
From establishing a good routine, eating the right foods to avoiding caffeine in the evening, take a look at Tonic’s helpful checklist to getting a good night’s sleep.
How Tonic Can Help More…
In 2021, as we continue to plan for staff to work remotely, in unfamiliar work environments, the challenges we face linked to protecting mental & physical wellbeing grow. Here at Tonic, our mission remains to provide employers and employees with the tools, support, education and incentives to optimise their wellbeing.
Supported by our Tonic and Me digital platform, our team uses a host of interventions to support you:
- Tried and tested Frameworks
- Online & Onsite Coaching
- Diagostic Tools
We fully manage our client organisation’s well@work programmes in complete confidence. Our Tonic Wellbeing practitioners will select tools and interventions from the Tonic Toolbox – often starting with a confidential staff health checks followed by lifestyle assessments, wellbeing workshops and fantastic reward days. This ensures we are holistic in our approach and out solutions are tailored #wellbeingmadepersonal
The importance of getting enough quality sleep has always been a critical Tonic topic as it has an integral role to play in optimising our wellbeing. It is also for this reason (as well as to support world sleep day) it is our current topic of focus in our well@work app.
To find out more about how we could work together to optimise the health of your organisation and your people simply visit our website or email us at email@example.com.
If sleep is high on your agenda, and you want to connect the dots between the lifestyle and wellbeing of your employees, then we recommend starting with a Firstbeat Lifetyle Assessment.
Happy World Sleep Day!