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Are you getting enough sleep? We all have those odd nights where we struggle to get to sleep, or stay asleep. Also, we know how that makes us feel at work the next day – sluggish and exhausted – but, have you ever thought about the long-term effects of sleep deprivation?

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) adults aged between 18 and 65 need on average 7-9 hours of sleep per night, however, most adults report sleeping around 6 hours and 30 minutes per night. Although this doesn’t seem considerably less than the recommended sleep time, the lack of sleep can accumulate over time leading to detrimental outcomes.

That being said, the amount of sleep needed differs from person to person, but if you are getting 6 hours a night and falling asleep at work, chances are you probably need more sleep than that! Looking at the figures, 29% of adults report either falling asleep or feeling very sleepy at work within the last month, and a further 12% report they have turned up late to work due to lack of sleep.

There are many side effects from lack of sleep that range from poor work performance to detrimental effects on your own health. You may think an extra 30 minutes of sleep isn’t much, but it does have an effect on you. It has been found that those who sleep less than 6 hours find it difficult to concentrate, take longer to complete tasks and find it difficult to generate new ideas whilst at work.

Focusing on the physical health impacts of sleep deprivation, studies suggest that adults who sleep on average 6 hours and 30 minutes a night are 3 times more likely to develop a common cold. So, if you’re someone who is regularly getting ill, you need to ask yourself, are you getting enough sleep?

The most worrying issue, is that of the potential psychological side effects. Continuous sleep deprivation has been known to cause dramatic psychological deficits such as paranoia, hallucinations, mania, and memory loss. Although these are serious symptoms, it’s important that you regularly get enough sleep to ensure you feel on top of your game.

You may be thinking that you struggle to get your recommended hours of sleep, but, are you really making sleep a priority? If not, it’s time to start!

  • Try and stick to a sleep schedule (even on weekends): This will allow your body to get used to a schedule and you will definitely feel more refreshed when you wake up!
  • Turn off your electrical items: We are in the age of smart phones and social media, and it’s so tempting to lay in bed and scroll through your social media pages. It’s time to stop. Using electrical items before bed actually stimulates your brain, and if you struggle getting to sleep, that may be the reason why. Instead, try reading a book, this will relax your mind and make you feel tired.
  • Exercise regularly: Exercising regularly has so many great effects on your body. It releases endorphins that make you feel positive and, it terms of sleep, it uses up your energy making you feel ready to sleep when it’s bed time.

Getting enough sleep  ……. if you struggle with your sleep, it may be worth taking those tips into account, and it may seriously improve your sleeping habits. Do you have any other thoughts about improving sleeping habits? If so, leave a comment below!


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