February 2020 HEALTH & WELLBEING

Sleep and stress

Lack of sleep, fatigue, exhaustion, insomnia, long working hours – these are key indicators for chronic stress and poor performance at work. Ongoing sleep problems can be both a symptom and cause of stress. Restless sleep can take its toll on your energy levels, mood and concentration throughout the work day.
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You Lose if you don't snooze

We all know sleep is important. However, the benefits of sleeping soundly each night may be more numerous than you think. People who consistently sleep well experience lower rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses. In addition, sleep helps our brain recharge and makes us feel more alert, attentive and better able to function the next day. Sleep does our brain and body good, and helps improve our overall health and quality of life.

Are you a sound sleeper?

How do you know if you’re getting good sleep? Ask yourself these three questions. First, am I getting enough hours to feel rested and alert the next day? Second, am I sleeping soundly with no interruption until I wake up the next day? And third, am I sleeping deep enough to feel energised after I’m awake a while? If you’re getting enough hours of continuous, deep sleep, you’re probably getting a good night’s rest.

Tips to catch better zzzs

Many things can affect your sleep, though. So what can you do if you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep? Preparing for a great night’s sleep starts during the day, maybe even when you’re still at the office.

  • Stick to a schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Try taking a shower, brushing your teeth, and doing other tasks in the same order every night.
  • Looking at what you’re eating and drinking before bedtime can also help you sleep better. For example, limit caffeine during the day, don’t drink alcohol late in the evening, avoid heavy meals close to bedtime, and don’t go to bed thirsty.
  • Turn technology off an hour before bedtime, especially during the work day. The light emitted from these devices keeps our minds alert, which disrupts our sleep cycles.
  • Practicing habits like exercising regularly, and doing something relaxing like reading, yoga or taking a warm bath before bedtime may also help.
  • Finally, pay attention to your sleep space. Make sure your bed and pillow are comfortable, and your room is cool, dark and quiet.
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