National Work Life Week: Is work affecting your sleep?
Many of us will be familiar with the scenario of lying in bed and watching the clock tick closer towards the time we need to wake up the next day. This could be because anxiety about work is preventing us from falling asleep, or we may even be keeping ourselves awake deliberately to try to get some more of our work completed.
However, if we are already stressed by a large workload, sluggishness from a lack of sleep is an added impairment we could all do without. Balancing our lives to manage work stress is crucial to avoid this.
In honour of National Work Life Week, which this year is between 7-11 October, TEMPUR® answers the question ‘how much sleep do adults need?’ and explores the effects of a lack of sleep. Learn how to unwind and alleviate the pressures of a modern workload, so that you can wake up ready to start the day.
How Much Sleep Do Adults Need?
It can be tempting to sleep less when you have a large workload and feel stressed. You may think that time spent sleeping could be better utilised for completing tasks. However, this can be counterproductive and should be avoided.
A lack of sleep is bad for your health and negatively affects work performance. On average, adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Despite this, the TEMPUR® Mental Health Survey found a quarter of people in the UK get less than 6 hours sleep a night. This deprivation can make you sluggish, negatively affecting your memory, concentration and decision-making abilities.
How to Reduce Work Stress
As shown by the TEMPUR® Mental Health Survey, 64% of people in Britain are kept awake by stress and anxiety. If work stress is keeping you awake at night, there are several things you can do to alleviate this.
Firstly, try talking to your boss or even someone in Human Resources. These are the people who will know what support is available for you and will be able to advise you on your options. They may be able to provide additional support for your duties or access to training and support networks that can teach you ways to manage stress.
Secondly, ask a co-worker or manager for some help prioritising tasks. This will give you a structure to follow, allowing you to stay on track with your workload and not become overwhelmed by it. A firm structure also enables you to see when you may need help to make sure a task is completed on time.
Remember, even if your workplace can’t offer a large amount of support, merely talking about stress can still reduce it.
How to Unwind
With the rise of the internet and smartphones, it is easy to never leave the office. As shown by the TEMPUR® Mental Health Survey, 27% of people in the UK admit to checking their emails in bed. We can be doing this throughout the night if we don’t set clear boundaries. However, to get a good night’s sleep, it is crucial that you don’t bring your work home. Knowing how to unwind is vital.
You should avoid screens, being especially sure to switch your phone off a few hours before bed. This stops you from checking your emails or responding to messages, which can keep you in the stressful mindset of work. Furthermore, the screens emit blue light, which can stimulate your brain and keep you feeling awake.
There are many relaxing alternatives for filling your bedtime routine to activities that require a screen. Try taking a warm bath, reading a book or listening to some relaxing music. These are all activities that will help you to unwind before bed.
You should also try to create the most relaxing environment to sleep in. A great mattress is key to this. Try a TEMPUR® mattress and sink into the ultimate in comfort and support. Feel the innovative TEMPUR® material mould to your shape to provide the most restful night’s sleep imaginable.
Have you tried any of our tips for managing your stress? Do you have any of your own tricks for unwinding after a stressful day? Let us know in the comments below…