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Are your Employees Getting Enough Sleep?

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 09:14

We all know that sleep is important – and most of us aren't getting enough. But how much is our individual sleep deficiency contributing to poor corporate performance?

New research by Barker and Stonehouse suggests that only 15% of British people are getting a good, healthy night's sleep. Their research also finds that many people are taking work home, and still thinking about work – or even replying to emails – as their head hits the pillow.

This preoccupation with work may have a negative impact on the quality of sleep, which in turn affects how people feel the following day. And as Chris Brantner, Sleep Science Coach, points out, sleeping isn't just essential for recharging our batteries, it can also assist with boosting immunity, slimming, maintaining healthy blood pressure and supporting mental wellbeing. Chris suggests there's a very direct connection between sleep and performance: "by getting less than eight hours sleep, you're impairing your ability to think clearly, be productive, and problem-solve on a daily basis. It can also have a direct (negative) effect on your willpower."

The survey, which consulted 2,000 people found that mobile phones are playing a big part in disrupting our routines and keeping us up late. Chris Brantner comments: "I'd argue that smartphones are destroying our sleep. Recent surveys suggest that 75% of people have access to their phones in their rooms and 66% of people look at their phones within 30 minutes of falling asleep."

Sleepy weekends

While weekends may be seen as an oasis of rest and recuperation, and a chance to repay our sleep debt, the habit of staying up late and then oversleeping means we're often wide awake on Sunday night. For many of us, sleepy weekends lead to exhausted Mondays.

Clear your mind; make a list

One of the Brantner's suggestions is remarkably simple, low-tech and affordable. To help clear your mind and process your swirling concerns about work, write a to-do list. This simple act can turn a foggy list of fears into a neat list of outstanding tasks. And what might have felt insurmountable at 3 a.m. looks less intimidating when cast in ink.

Discourage workaholism

We all want to be seen to be working hard, pulling our weight and doing a great job. But this pressure to perform can lead people to go overboard, and never really shut off. And while they may get stuff done, their performance is not sustainable, and they will eventually get burned out. Employers and managers have a duty to discourage that kind of behaviour and remind colleagues of the importance of downtime.

If a team member is consistently working through their evenings, someone should ask them why. Do they need more time? Do they have too much work? Do they need support?

Performance Management eLearning from DeltaNet International

Do your managers need a refresher in managing performance? Our suite of eLearning modules gives you a flexible way to deliver essential training. You can either use our off-the-shelf packages, or we can customise the learning to suit your organisation. Our performance management eLearning packages include Managing Stress in your Team, Performance Capability and Manager's Overview of Health and Safety.

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