Do work deadlines keep you up at night? Do you drag yourself to work bleary-eyed and down countless cups of coffee?
Now’s the time to reverse those habits. May is Better Sleep Month, so it’s time to improve your sleep schedule.
Getting better sleep will have big impacts on your mind and body. Here’s why you should prioritize better sleep, and how you can do so even as a busy 9-5er.
Why You Should Try to Get Better Sleep
Physical Affects of Poor Sleep
Getting too little or poor sleep does more than just make you uncomfortable and irritable — it can also have more lasting physical affects. Research has shown that poor sleep puts people at higher risk for several potentially-fatal conditions, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- Type 2 diabetes
Studies have even shown that women have it harder than men when it comes to feeling a lack of better sleep. Their heart disease risk is higher than men, and they could also suffer from depression, blood clots, and increased inflammation markers, meaning they feel more pain throughout the day.
Getting better sleep will also promote your mental health. Poor sleep hurts your cognitive processes, affecting your attention span, how alert you are, how well you can concentrate, and your problem-solving abilities. This means you won’t learn as well, and you won’t be nearly as productive. You can even suffer from memory loss, as you may not fall into a deep enough sleep to preserve and consolidate your memories.
Furthermore, extensive research has shown that lack of sleep affects decision-making. Essentially, those who get better sleep are less likely to take unwise risks, while those who get poor sleep make more dangerous or unsound decisions. This includes seemingly innocent decisions, such as whether to eat that extra slice of cake, or potentially fatal choices, like whether to try and make it through the intersection when the light turns yellow.
Costs of Poor Sleep
According to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, sleep disorders, deprivation, and overall sleepiness cost $15.9 million directly and $50 – $100 billion indirectly on an annual basis.
Tips for Getting Better Sleep
Clearly, getting better sleep should be at the top of your to-do list. But how can you accomplish that? Here are our tips for sleeping well:
- Develop a consistent nighttime routine to get your sleep schedule on track
- Don’t let yourself sleep in on the weekends, as this can disrupt your weekday schedule
- Avoid drinking caffeine 4-6 hours before your bed time
- Don’t eat a heavy meal before sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Create an environment conducive for sleep (minimal noise, light, and heat or cold)
Address Successful Sleep Habits in Your Workplace Wellness Program
If you feel your coworkers or employees would benefit from information on why and how to get better sleep, talk to Test Smartly Labs today. We are workplace wellness experts, and we can discuss how to incorporate this topic into your new or existing program.
Find your nearest wellness-certified Test Smartly Labs to get started today!