Hormones, Sleep and Work
15 Jan 2019
Do you struggle to get to sleep?
Do you have broken sleep?
Do you awake feeling un-refreshed?
Do you feel lethargic during the day?
Do you rely on caffeine and sugar for energy?
If you answer yes to any, some or all of these the next bit is worth reading.
Increasing productivity, managing stress and improving employee wellbeing are high on organisational agendas. You don’t need a PHD to know that a restless night will have a negative impact on your ability to perform, or that long term reliance of stimulants isn’t great for your health. So…. how can you support your people to improve their sleep/wake cycles?
Firstly you need to know the importance of Hormones. Melatonin enables you to get to sleep and Cortisol wakes you up. We obviously need both, but in the right balance and at the right time. If you produce too much Cortisol leading up to bedtime it’s likely you’ll have a lower quality sleep. If you don’t have enough through the day you’ll feel tired and be less productive.
Cortisol is also known as the “Stress Hormone”. Three of the main contributors to the production of cortisol are stress, light exposure and caffeine. Of which all three are present in abundance within the workplace. It’s essential to long term health, wellbeing and performance that employees are able to switch off and improve their efficiency of their sleep/wake cycles.
So what strategise can Organisations put in place to support this?
Education – Running seminars, workshops and training on how to become healthier and improve general wellbeing.
Promotion – Increasing awareness on the benefits of hydration and moderate caffeine & alcohol consumption.
Expectations – Do you expect your employees to be working late at night or even in bed? No? Let them know!
Support – The key to managing stress is to build resilience, one of the ingredients of resilience is support. Improve support networks and your people will have less restless nights.
You don’t need to go to the extreme of buying sleep pods or providing regular nap breaks. However, a little bit of education and a touch of motivation goes a long way.
If you’d like to find out more about how to support the wellbeing of your team, just get in touch!
Article by Andy Romero-Birkbeck, Head of Content and Delivery