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The goal of this blog is to provide useful information on every aspect of workplace health - from wellness and injury prevention through to rehabilitation and recovery at work.

Sleep Hygiene. What is it?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Your sleeping habits have the potential to affect every aspect of your life - Sleep is a key determinant of mood, productivity and overall health. 

Everyone has had a sleepless night and experienced the irritability and fatigue the next day. When you have poor sleep hygiene, these symptoms begin to compound over time and start impacting your general mood and mental health. 

Mood disorders (e.g. depression, anxiety) are usually closely linked to sleeping issues and this can become a cycle with lack of sleep due to low mood following a low mood due to lack of sleep. Stress and anxiety contribute to poor sleep hygiene and as a result, can create more anxiety and stress. 

Utilising strategies to improve your sleep hygiene and therefore sleep quality is key to improving your mood and mental health - Reducing stress that is exacerbated by lack of sleep. 

As poor sleep hygiene can increase stress and anxiety, consequently - productivity can suffer. The result of this can be your ability to exercise to your regular standard, participate in social events, and to perform your responsibilities at work. Studies have shown that on average, employees with better sleep hygiene are more successful and productive in their roles. A popular theory for this is that lack of sleep reduces productivity and motivation while increasing stress levels - consequently affecting your work performance and potential for success. 

"Better rested workers are more productive" - Austin Frakt (The NY Times, 2019)

 

Not only does poor sleep hygiene have a negative impact on your productivity and mental health - it can also be detrimental to your overall physical health. 

Studies have shown that poor sleeping habits can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, a weakened immune system and weight gain. 

Some popular strategies to improve your sleep hygiene include: 

 Avoiding stimulants (e.g. caffeine) for 4-6 hrs before bedtime

 Ensure your bedroom is dark and quiet – conducive to an uninterrupted sleep

 Limit the use of screens (TV, smart phones, etc.) in bed

 Maintain a regular and relaxing bedtime routine

 Maintain a consistent sleep schedule to regulate your internal body clock

Source: BetterHealth | HeadSpaceSleep Foundation The NY Times | The NY Times | HealthlineHarvard Medical School - Healthy Sleep




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