Netdoctor….5 signs your job is harming your health
From commuting to overbearing bosses – some work stress is unavoidable, however knowing how to make things a little easier is the first step to a happier, healthier you. After all, we spend more time at work than any other place. Here’s what you need to know…
You’re constantly working overtime
You never get up from your desk
You never get to sit down
Your have a long commute
You’re kept awake at night thinking about work
Not only does sleep affect your work, but your work can also have a massive impact on your sleep. Most adults require 7-8 hours (although it will vary from person to person), but high levels of stress can interfere with your sleep patterns and wreak havoc with your mental and physical wellbeing.
Not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, infections and even cancer. Also, it’s been found that a lack of shut-eye can make you more impulsive, more forgetful and more accident prone – none of which are beneficial in the workplace.
Improving our sleep seems to be a top health concern among Brits, as research suggests that UK adults rank among the worst sleepers when comparing 13 countries across Europe, North America and Asia. Getting more sleep is now the second most common health ambition (after losing weight/lowering BMI), but as we know, there are a number of elements that could be contributing to your poor sleep. Maryanne Taylor, founder of The Sleep Works, advises:
“Stress can make us sleep fitfully, affecting our ability to sink into our deeper level of sleep which is the restorative and healing stage of our sleep cycle. Lying in bed worrying and contemplating work issues can induce high levels of cortisol which counteracts the production of our natural sleep hormone, melatonin making it difficult for us to fall asleep.”
Sleep isn’t the only thing affected by stress, it can wreak havoc with your digestive system, cause irritability and have a domino effect on other aspects of your life. So what can you do to help the situation? Maryanne has two main tips:
Get it on paper
“Write down your worrying thoughts and a to do list for the next day. Research shows that the act of writing things down, gives our brain the capacity to ‘let go’ rather than holding the worrying thoughts in.”
Control your thoughts
“It is often our thoughts that produce stress so knowing what to watch out for can help control the levels of stress we feel. Helping ourselves wind down before bedtime is an essential part of this. Distancing from our computer and phone and giving ourselves personal space is so important in helping our bodies and brains let go of tension and stress of the day, in order to get to sleep more easily”
As an employer, should you be concerned about your employees’ sleep – or lack of it?
After a busy morning in the office, the atmosphere and productivity levels can become somewhat sluggish after lunch. Our sleep guide looks at the factors that cause this, and offers suggestions to help employees improve their afternoon energy levels.
Maryanne established The Sleep Works in 2010. She is a qualified and experienced Sleep Consultant who has helped hundreds of parents with their children’s sleep problems. She also works with adults to educate, support and motivate them to improve their sleep. She gives many talks and workshops on child and adult sleep, has written numerous articles, and has appeared on Channel 4's 'Born Naughty?' show. Find out more about Maryanne and The Sleep Works.