You might have noticed a theme across the blog posts here at SleepyPeople.com. We are, unashamedly, passionate about getting a great night’s sleep. Going to sleep at the end of the day might seem the most natural thing in the world, but for many people sleep is a real problem. Going just one night without adequate sleep will have a profound effect on our performance the next day.
This article is focussed on how sleep affects our work life. A recent study of 21,000 employees by VitalityHealth (part of the Prudential insurance group) found that employees that got 7 hours sleep per night were significantly more productive at work than their colleagues who had slept less.
What else did the sleep study find?
Rather worryingly the sleep study also found that consumption of alcohol and cigarettes made no difference to the efficiency of employees. This is being reported in the media with very sensational headlines the Daily Mail for example says “Booze ‘doesn’t harm staff productivity’, claims study (as long as you get seven hours sleep before work)”. Of course what these articles are choosing not to mention is that if you drink and smoke too much you stand very little chance of getting 7 hours sleep.
Nicotine is a stimulant which takes many hours to leave the body. Countless sleep studies have all recommended a reduction in smoking during the evening and preferably not within a few hours of going to bed.
Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption leads to a disturbed night’s sleep. Many people find that after a drink they fall asleep faster than usual. However, after a drink sleep studies have found that we have a disturbed and restless night’s sleep with broken sleep cycles. The broken sleep cycles are further exacerbated by the possibility that after drinking you’ll also need to visit the toilet during the night.
I rarely sleep for 7 hours. What can I do?
If you are finding sleep difficult and believe that it could be affecting your work then there are a few simple steps you can take to improve things. These simple steps might not fix the sleep issue immediately, but may help you identify what is the root cause of your inability to sleep well.
- Cut down alcohol, cigarette and caffeine consumption in the evening. Caffeine and Nicotine stay in our systems far longer than we realise. Try not drinking caffeinated drinks, alcohol or smoking after 6pm.
- Turn off the TV and read in the evening. The light from TV, mobile phone and laptop screens is similar to daylight and slows down our production of hormones that help us sleep.
- Have a soak in a warm bath before bedtime. If you have any lavender oil, add a few drops to the water.
If these tips don’t help you can find a more comprehensive list of sleep tips in our blog post 100 Top Tips for Getting a Great Night’s Sleep. You should also try and identify what it is that is keeping you awake or causing you to wake up – a pencil and paper by the bedside is handy to note things down.
Give your Bed a Health Check
We’re amazed just how much feedback we get from customers that tell us our products have improved their night’s sleep massively. We hear of customers who have not slept well for years and the cause of their problem was something as easy to replace as a worn out pillow.
If your pillows are of an uncertain age, but certainly more than two years old, you’ll probably benefit from choosing some new pillows. Also if you are feeling discomfort that lasts for more than an hour when you get out of bed in the morning, there’s a good chance that your mattress isn’t offering you the right amount of support. This can be a fairly low cost issue to fix with the addition of a mattress topper to your bed.
Sleep isn’t just important for work, it also plays a massive part in our general health and wellbeing. We hope that this article helps you find a route to getting a better night’s sleep regularly and the benefits that sleep brings.