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How catching ZZZ’s could be the key to your business succeeding

How catching ZZZ’s could be the key to your business succeeding

“Sleep and mental health go hand-in-hand, with many, if not all, mental health problems being associated with problems sleeping.” Scott et al in the British Medical journal.

You’ve just climbed into bed and the restlessness of the day ahead starts to kick in, and instead of drifting closer to sleep, you’re drifting further and further away. We’ve all experienced this. Whether it’s a big work day ahead, something important or something we’re anxious about, why is it that when we need sleep the most, we can’t get it? In recognition of World Sleep Day on March 17th, here are our top tips and tricks to help you fall asleep. 

Shift workers can often experience high feelings of stress and anxiety around the idea of either falling asleep out of their normal circadian rhythm or ensuring they’re getting enough sleep. It is a real thing that actively pushes you away from the actual thing you need the most. Some have called it a busy mind, and restlessness but it’s got a different name – insomnia.

Why is sleep so important for mental health?

We need sleep for good health and it is the cornerstone of our mental health and performance. Good health and good sleep also means good business, so it’s imperative that your staff can have access to knowledge and tools to help them achieve good health. 

We have all experienced some form of temporary insomnia, but to be diagnosed with this condition, it needs to happen at least three times a week for three months or more. Most importantly, sleep loss must not be linked to any external factors such as a newborn baby, the latest Netflix series or too much partying! 

This is a huge problem that extends beyond increasing the risk of injury at work, productivity loss and having to deal with grumpy workers. It’s estimated one-third of people regularly experience difficulties falling and remaining asleep and for decades the remedy has evaded sleep researchers. Until now…

New research in the field, led by an explosion of sleep data making its way into the researchers’ hands via our smartphones, has shed some light on this topic. 

Let’s look at what we may be currently using, or have used in the past, to get to sleep and see what the research says. 

Sleeping Pills

Taking sleeping pills can make sleep easier to achieve, but research shows a reliance on them has consequences.  Daytime fatigue, mental fogginess and dependency are just some, but long-term reliance on sleeping pills to get to sleep is not the answer!

What about melatonin?

Well, the research suggests that it’s really only a short-term solution and it has no long-term benefit in assisting people getting and staying asleep. 

So how can we get the most effective night’s sleep?

  • It all comes down to behavioural changes and having a nighttime routine. Minimising light in the hours before bed
  • Minimising sound while we are getting to sleep and while we are asleep
  • Blue light from devices get rid of the TV, laptop or iPad in bed if you having difficulty getting to sleep 
  • Keep a consistent sleep routine
  • Set an alarm for when you have to get up, but also when you have to go to bed to ensure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep

Women are at 60% greater risk of suffering from insomnia than men, some of the reasons are biological such as child raising, menopause and some are social. 

As we previously mentioned, mental health and sleep go hand in hand. The latest evidence-based treatment for insomnia is already sitting in your pocket. It’s called cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-i) is helping people get to sleep and stay asleep. The name might appear to be quite technical, but in reality, you can tap into CBT-i through apps on your smartphone. 

  1. Headspace – a mental wellness-based app, has numerous techniques and support for you to manage stress, anxiety and sleep. A great all-rounder to help you stay calm and in control
  2. Sleepio –  focuses solely on getting you to sleep through education and practice through highly researched theories
  3. SleepSpace – one of the best sleep trackers, it can be used to get an insight into your own sleep. If you need to talk to a medical professional to get help with your sleep, this sleep data will come in handy

Health Stack has a sleep and fatigue program for the workplace that’s easily accessible via our stackable modules. We’ve partnered with Australia’s largest sleep testing company to provide those in need with the data and support they need to help themselves fall asleep and stay asleep.

Remember, Health Stack is here to help! Visit our academy and learn how to perform Sleep Breathing – a technique to help you ditch sleep aids and fall asleep without the need to count sheep.

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