04 Dec Lack of Sleep – is it negatively impacting on you?
Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep is one of the most common complaints Annurca hear when out consulting. This often results in individuals reporting that they have a lack of energy or are feeling tired when at work. This is having a massive impact on not only health but on the economy as a whole.
In 2018 RAND Europe reported that sleep deprivation in the UK costs the economy £40.2 billion in loss of productivity. Estimates predict this will steadily rise in cost to £47 billion by 2030, if that current trend continues. This is not to mention the associated costs of ill health related to lack of sleep.
Poor sleep can increase risk of serious medical conditions such as obesity (costs UK economy £27 billion, McKinsey Global Institute. 2014.), heart disease (costs UK economy £15.1 billion, Public Health England. 2019.) and diabetes (costs UK economy £15.4 billion, Diabetes UK. 2019) as well as impacting on mood, mental health and the aforementioned energy levels.
Many people just accept that they sleep poorly. However, there are many things we can do to improve how long we sleep and the quality of our sleep.
Below are 10 top tips you could implement to try improve your sleep patterns.
- Reduce caffeine consumption (especially late in the day) – When consumed late in the day, coffee stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. Caffeine can stay elevated in your blood for 6–8 hours
- Try to go to bed and get up at consistent times – irregular sleep patterns can alter your circadian rhythm and levels of melatonin, which signal your brain to sleep
- Try avoiding alcohol – often people turn to alcohol to help them sleep and although it may help them fall asleep it can reduce melatonin production which leads to disrupted sleep
- Reduce blue light exposure in the evening (put the smartphones, tablets and computers away and stop watching TV a couple of hours before going to bed) – bluelight tricks your mind into thinking it’s daytime
- Don’t eat late in the evening – eating late, particularly large meals leads to poor sleep and hormone disruption
- Exercise regularly (but not just before bedtime) – exercise can tire us out which will help with sleep however exercise produces a stimulating effect straight after exercise which can increase alertness so exercising late could have a negative impact on sleep
- Regulate your bedroom temperature – it can be hard to get a good night’s sleep when it is too hot. Although everyone is different 20°C is best for most people
- Try relaxation techniques before bed – read a book, meditate, have a hot bath, try deep breathing or relaxing moving
- Moderate fluid consumption before bed – too much fluid can cause nocturia (excessive urination at night time)
- Get a good pillow and mattress – Not only can this impact on sleep but will also help to reduce back and joint pain. It is recommended to replace your pillow every 1 – 2 years. When you should replace your mattress will vary depending on the quality of your mattress however it is generally recommended you replace it every 7 – 10 years.