50% of UK workers lose an average of 9 hours' sleep each week due to stress, according to new sleep research.
This lack of sleep can have a significant impact on the ability of staff to focus, solve problems and complete tasks.
To ensure that you get a good night’s rest, the NHS recommends:
- Establishing a regular routine for bedtime. Doing so will help programme your body to sleep better. Go to bed at the same time every night, and create a habit of winding down beforehand by doing activities such as reading a book or taking a bath.
- Not overindulging before bedtime. Too much food or alcohol before bedtime can interfere with sleep patterns. While alcohol may help you fall asleep, it can interrupt it later in the night.
- Creating a restful sleeping environment. TVs and other electronic gadgets can interfere with your ability to wind down because of the blue light they emit.
Recent research from the likes of Rand shows that sleep deprivation has a big impact on UK industry, with an estimated £24bn lost to the economy due to lack of sleep. Worryingly, lack of sleep also contributes to an increased risk of mortality - not something to help with stress levels, as it could create a vicious cycle of worry!
Employers could potentially help staff by encouraging working practices such as advising cut-off times for emails, ensuring bright and modern working environments, providing employee support services, and encouraging exercise (by potentially subsiding gym memberships, for example).
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