March 2015 is National Bed Month in the UK and National Sleep Awareness week runs from 2 to 8 March in the USA.
We all know that if you don’t get enough sleep you can be grumpy and less productive at work, did you also know that regularly missing out on sleep puts you at risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes?
Researchers continue to find more and more negative affects that poor sleep is having on our overall health and wellbeing, and with one in three Britons suffering from poor sleep the implications for UK business is high.
Throughout our lives we need a different amount of sleep, so how do you know if you are sleeping enough? The general consensus is that if you wake up tired, or find yourself flagging during the day, it’s likely that you are not getting enough sleep.
An occasional night of disturbed sleep shouldn’t have any long term consequences to your health, and managed well it shouldn’t make you grumpy. However, more prolonged bouts of sleeplessness can affect your mental and physical health.
Impact of sleeplessness:
- Lack of sleep can lead to increased irritability, lack of focus and dangerous driving while tired.
- Long term sleep loss can lead to mood disorders like depression and anxiety – leading to increased tensions in the workplace and increased absences.
- Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you’re less able to fight off illness – increasing sickness absence further.
- Sleep can be good for the figure– research has shown that those who sleep less than 7 hours a night are 30% more likely to be obese, possibly because of a reduction in leptin – a chemical that makes you feel full, and increased levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger.
- The body processes glucose differently when we do not get enough sleep, and recent studies suggest that a lack of sleep increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Those who sleep less have lower libidos – which could lead to tension at home and increased irritability at work.
- Men who suffer from sleep apnoea (stop breathing during sleep) have lower levels of testosterone, which also affects libido.
- Regularly interrupted sleep has been linked to a reduction in reproductive hormones in men and women, linking lack of sleep to low fertility.
- Chronic sleep deprivation has been connected to high blood pressure and a fast heart rate – leading to long term health problems.
There are many factors that impact sleep, changing habits in the long term doesn’t happen overnight, so making small changes incrementally can help to improve your sleep.
If you recognise sleep loss may be a problem for your workforce you could introduce our Sleep Well workshop, we encourage your people to review their environment, their habits and their thought processes, leading to improved sleep, health and wellbeing at work.
Call today on 01954 267640 for more information about Sleep Well Always.
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