Getting your 8 hours? Why sleep is vital for your health

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Nearly 4 in 10 people think that they are not getting enough sleep. A staggering amount when you read so many articles about how important it is for your health. The cause is often medical, but it can also be caused by everyday pressures, including work stresses. Ensuring the right amount of sleep helps people to look after their mental and physical health, quality of life and safety. Sleep deficiency can raise the risk for some chronic health problems.

Often those affected will cite anxiety, depression or stress as a factor in their reasons for not getting enough sleep, or indeed not being able to fall asleep at all.

Did you know that a health cash plan can help with these issues?  A Health Shield health cash plan provides employees with access to counselling services as well as health and wellbeing benefits*

Being mentally well makes people feel better physically and helps them at work and in their social life, creating a much more positive and happier person.

The right amount of sleep varies from person to person, but on average it is suggested an adult has between 7-9 hours a night. Below are some top tips to help encourage a full night’s sleep.  Why not share these tips with your employees; there may just be somebody in your organisation who is struggling to sleep.

  • Keep active – This has obvious physical benefits but it also increases metabolism and helps fight anxiety and stress. Try to avoid late night workouts though as people generally need time to wind down before going to sleep, and only go to bed when you feel tired.
  • Choose food wisely – Diet is a big part of everyone’s life in keeping fit and healthy, but did you know it can affect your sleep too? Eating heavy or spicy foods before going to sleep is something to avoid as the body will not have digested it in time. Instead, have a light snack or milky drink – but avoid caffeine after 3pm. A glass of wine if it takes your fancy can help people fall asleep, but many report it causes interrupted sleep patterns.
  • Create a relaxing atmosphere – Ensuring a bedroom is tranquil, dark, cool and comfortable is a must – this will help with any stress levels too. It may be a good idea to try blackout curtains or an eye shade. It’s difficult in today’s society, but before bed try and avoid television, phones or tablets. Ensure any bedding is comfortable too.
  • Don’t struggle – If trying to get to sleep and tossing and turning are more the concern, take a time out. Get up and read, or listen to some music, calm the body down again. This is relieving any stress created through the worry of not being able to sleep.
  • Don’t work late – shift workers will find this tip difficult, but try not to work too close to going to sleep. The human body needs time to unwind and make the transition from work to rest mode. Ideally leave around 90 minutes between the two.
  • Don’t keep a clock close by – Although it is a habit for those who can’t sleep to continually clock watch, it creates further anxiety. Move it outside the room or turn it off.
  • Create a routine – Help the body to realise it is time to calm and relax. Ensure a routine is in place. This might involve a bath, reading a book or listening to calming music.

Once a good routine has been established that will help your employees sleep better you will soon find that;

  • Their memory is improved.
  • They are more creative
  • They improve their attention span
  • They succeed more
  • They lower any stress levels
  • They help keep depression at bay

A Health Shield health cash plan can help you relax knowing you are supporting your employees’ health and wellbeing at both at work and at home.  With cash back on treatments like hypnotherapy and aromatherapy messages available through our health and wellbeing benefit, your employees will soon benefit and impact on their life at home and at work.

If you would like to find out more information about implementing a Health Shield health cash plan as an employee benefit just simply get in touch with us.

If you are not a member of the Health Shield or your employer does not provide this benefit, you can still apply for a health cash plan by following the link to our Connect plan individual.

*please check details of your plan

 

Sources:

www.theguardian.com

www.health.com

www.nhlbi.nih.gov

www.axappphealthcare.co.uk

http://www.itv.com/news/2016-01-07/top-tips-for-a-good-nights-sleep/?

http://time.com/4548883/brits-not-sleeping-enough/

hootPostID=227fca6271495337fe06af45d4a05fb3

http://attitude.co.uk/sleep-deprived-brits-are-losing-an-entire-night-of-sleep-per-week-new-study-finds/