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Were you aware that it is recommended the average adult should get seven to nine hours of sleep a night to feel healthy?

Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health and wellness. It allows the body and mind to rest and rejuvenate, lowering the risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. More importantly, sleep helps in maintaining cognitive function, emotional regulation, and mental health.

How much do YOU get?

How much sleep do you get? Honestly?…

Scientists from Oxford University claim we are getting one to two hours less sleep per night than we did in the 1960s. An article on BBC Worklife illustrates how the modern world is full of things that reduce sleep: caffeine, alcohol, screen time and even the night temperature in our homes play a part.

I want you to consider, how much less sleep do you get a night compared to when you were in your 20’s?

If adults are getting 1 to 2 hours less sleep per night, that is 7 to 14 hours per week, and 30 to 60 less hours a month!

What effect does it have on our bodies, our productivity at work, our ability to cope under pressure, and our mental health?

What happens to our bodies when we don’t sleep?

There are many things that many of us are unaware of. As managers, we must be aware of these because our teams can suffer greatly if they do not sleep. The following are the five consequences of not sleeping:

  1. Impaired judgment
  2. Impaired concentration
  3. Immune system suppressed, so prone to illness
  4. Reaction time is slower, causing accidents
  5. Emotions are heightened causing irritability, anger, and anxiety

The benefits of good sleep

So, let’s look at the positives. The benefits of a good night’s sleep outweigh the drawbacks. Here are the benefits:

  • Increased energy for greater productivity
  • Improved concentration to complete tasks correctly
  • Greater capacity to learn new methods and systems
  • Improved immune system function, resulting in fewer illnesses and sick days
  • Advanced autophagy, which aids the body in remaining healthy, causing less long-term illness and disease
  • Better memory to save time when completing tasks
  • Reduced stress level, meaning better relationships with colleagues and clients

It is so important to be aware of these if we are managing teams, as lack of sleep for our teams can have a significant impact on their ability to cope at work.

Our teams are already under a lot of strain or pressure at work. We want them to be completely healthy when they deliver, and sleep will definitely help.

Quality rules

Quality sleep is also of high importance. I know there are times when I have had eight hours of sleep, but I do not feel refreshed in the morning. The deeper the sleep, the more refreshed we will feel.  How can we help our teams have better sleep?

Take note of these 7 Top Tips for better quality sleep:

  • Establish a regular bedtime and waking time.
  • Avoid technology that emits blue light at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Keep your sleep environment cool and relaxing– the optimum bedroom temperature is about 16-18°C.
  • Use blackout curtains/blinds to make your room as dark as possible.
  • Watch what you eat and when you eat it.
  • Limit caffeine at least 6 hours before bed, switch to a bedtime tea such as chamomile instead.
  • Try a pillow spray, which usually has a lavender scent.

On the other hand, what do you do if you are lying in bed and cannot fall asleep? This happens at times and you could do these two simple exercises to help:

First, you could try a Breathing Exercise designed to help you fall asleep. Simply place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, right behind your teeth, inhale for 3 counts, hold for 5, and exhale slowly for 7 counts, as if gently blowing out a candle. Repeat this a few times until you feel yourself drifting off. The exhalation is longer than the inhalation, allowing you to control your breathing rate and feel more relaxed.

Secondly, have you heard of PMR – Progressive Muscle Relaxation? This is another method to help you fall asleep more easily where you tense an area of muscles in your body as you inhale and relax them as you exhale. Try doing this exercise through this YouTube video.

Celebrating World Sleep Day

It is World Sleep Day on Friday 17th March. Let’s work together to develop better sleep habits for ourselves and our teams. It will assist them in being more productive, completing tasks correctly, learning new methods and systems more easily, taking fewer sick days, and developing better relationships.

Managers, do you need help in increasing team productivity and promoting positive mental health in the workplace by spotting the signs of depression, anxiety, and stress amongst your team? NOVA Associates is delivering workshops called Managing Mental Health for Managers. Feel free to book a strategy call and let’s see how this workshop can help you.