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Is lack of sleep affecting your work?

12 April 2018

According to Cigna’s 360° Wellbeing survey, only 39% of Globally Mobile Individuals have good sleep quality. And it’s estimated that 35% of adults have occasional sleep problems.

Sleep is important for both physical and emotional health. It keeps your immune system strong, improves your mood and makes you feel less stressed.

Most adults perform best when they get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day. During this break, your brain has time to:

  • Grow and repair cells.
  • Form new pathways for learning, remembering, and processing information.
  • Rebuild your energy for the next day.

However, the everyday stresses of life (work, family or relationships, money problems, jet lag) can keep you from sleeping well.

Besides affecting your performance and your mood, lack of sleep can affect you in many other ways. Not getting enough sleep is linked with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, obesity, and depression. Lack of sleep can also cause serious problems such as car crashes and work-related accidents.

Adapting your habits and activities can impact how well you sleep. Here are some tips to help you sleep better.

  • Get regular exercise. Figure out what time of day works best for your sleep patterns.
  • Go outside. Spending time in sunlight helps to reset your body's sleep and wake cycles.
  • Set aside time for problem solving earlier in the day so that you don't carry anxious thoughts to bed. Keep a notepad by your bed to write down any thoughts or worries that may keep you up or wake you up during the night.
  • Try to not use technology such as smartphones, computers, or tablets in the hours before bed. The light from these devices and the emotions that can result from checking email can make it harder to unwind and fall asleep.
  • Do something relaxing before bedtime. Try deep breathing, yoga, meditation, tai chi, or muscle relaxation. Take a warm bath or read a book.
  • Limit caffeine (coffee, tea, caffeinated sodas) during the day. And don't have any for at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
  • Don't drink alcohol before bed. Alcohol can cause you to wake up more often during the night.
  • Don't smoke or use tobacco, especially in the evening. Nicotine can keep you awake.