There are many reasons why you might be getting less sleep than usual. Work-related stress, illness, money worries and personal loss are just a handful of issues that can keep us awake at night.
If you’re struggling to sleep, you’re not alone. NHS Choices estimates that 1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by insomnia — and with the additional pressures brought by the pandemic, it’s only getting worse.
Leading commercial workspace provider Bruntwood Works teamed up with medical experts at Push Doctor to answer the question: how much can losing sleep hurt your work performance?
How much sleep do you need?
“Adults should be aiming for at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night in order for their bodies to function at their optimum levels,” says Dr Tom Micklewright, Associate Medical Director at Push Doctor.
“Obtaining at least 7 hours of good quality sleep every night allows our bodies to rest and repair our muscle and tissue, helps to boost our immune systems and can improve our mood and mental health.”
The cost of insufficient sleep quickly racks up. According to RAND Europe, the annual cost of lost sleep in the UK is about £30 billion, with 200,000 working days lost each year (NHS Livewell).
Shift workers are among the worst affected. 3.2 million night workers in the UK (TUC) are up to 30% more at risk of injury than those on daytime shifts (IOSH).
But it’s not only work that’s damaged by a lack of sleep. The long-term health risks of sleep deprivation are concerning too. RAND Europe found that adults sleeping fewer than 6 hours a night have a 13% higher mortality risk than adults who sleep at least 7 hours. Additionally, One You found that sleep-deprived adults are 30% more likely to be obese.
Signs you’re not getting enough sleep
Dr Tom Micklewright says: “A tell-tale sign of the lack of a good night’s sleep is that you regularly wake up feeling tired and your body gets tired throughout your day.”
In the context of work, not getting enough sleep manifests itself in several smaller ways. When they add up, it can take a real toll on your performance. Watch out for the following:
5 easy ways to get more sleep
Think you may be sleep-deprived? The good news is that, in most cases, it’s easily remedied. Follow these five simple steps to reintroduce those good nights’ sleep into your life.
The workplace experts at Bruntwood Works have put the importance of sleep to the test. They’ve installed sleep pods into their office space at their Bloc, Bruntwood’s latest Pioneer building.
Every environment within Bloc’s walls has been created to consider the wellbeing of its inhabitants, with green and growing spaces throughout, a basement fitness studio, technology to optimise air quality, even a sleep pod and chill-out areas to recharge batteries.
Bloc also features a cinema room, spaces for community pop-up events, and co-working spaces to help foster collaboration.
Put good rest to the test
Whether it's at work or in your personal life, the importance of good sleep cannot be overstated.
Getting enough sleep starts with us making a conscious decision to prioritise it and put steps in place to make it happen. With the right routine and a healthy mindset, you can wake up each day feeling refreshed and be highly productive in your work.
The best part? It’s a positive cycle: a great day’s work leads to a good night’s sleep. How’s that for a life hack?