Dreaming A Way to Success

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Did you know that 50% of people in the UK struggle to sleep and more than 74% have less than seven hours a night? Health Shield want to look at how getting enough sleep will benefit your employees in the workplace.

Everyone knows that we are subject to work-place stress these days, but now scientists are finding evidence that how our bodies respond to stress is tied in with our sleeping patterns.

However, stress and a lack of sleep are a Catch-22 situation, so dealing with them in the right way is important. Not getting enough sleep can exacerbate any stress employees are experiencing, and being under stress can cause difficulty sleeping. The key for your employees is to put themselves in a routine that will allow them to relax at home and in turn provide the downtime their body and mind needs to enable them to better handle stressors. Our country is becoming so sleep-focused it’s even now becoming common to wear pyjamas in public!

Encourage your employees to find activities that help them relax and wind down before they begin a bedtime routine. By doing this you will see the differences in their production levels at work.

Starting a night-time routine will have benefits in their daily lives and potentially see them climb career ladders and boost their confidence, which can only have positive effects on your team and business.

Heading to bed with “To Do” lists going around your mind and thinking over the day’s thoughts and worries is a recipe for disaster where sleep is concerned. Broken sleep can be as bad as not sleeping at all, and commonly it can be the thoughts going around in your head or just constantly waking up to check the time that may be the problem. It’s hard to relax and actually enjoy a long stint of sleep when you’re worried about how much sleep you are getting. Just a third of British people say that they are able to fall asleep easily and stay asleep.

Encourage some office activities to help your employees feel more relaxed at home and, in turn, in the office. Perhaps start a book club — reading is a calming activity — or maybe head to a yoga class after work? It might be worth creating a challenge with wearable technology — keeping them fit but also allowing them to monitor their sleeping patterns.

Technology plays havoc with people’s home life. Not only can they find it a struggle to switch off from work, but they also lose the simple art of conversation and having an evening chat with a loved one in the evening is a relaxing activity in itself.

How can sleep help your employees’ productivity?

Falling asleep during meetings, yawning around the office, a lack of sleep has a negative effect on work quality and productivity. It’s generally accepted that adults should have at least seven hours sleep a night, but 4 in 10 people are actually failing to achieve this.

Going without sleep for one night causes the same changes in the brain as a knock to the head — emphasising how important it really is. Without sleep, the ability to make decisions, focus on tasks and alertness levels are all affected. Studies find that six hours sleep a night for more than two weeks can have a positive effect on an employee’s cognitive performance and more sleep means more career progression.

You can improve your employees’ productivity and boost their chances of success by encouraging them to:

  • Get into a routine of sleeping for seven to nine hours each night
  • Turn off technology and screens before bed
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening — these stimulants increase how many times they wake up during the night
  • Exercise regularly – they’ll feel great and it’ll help them sleep (just try not to do it before bed!)