According to a study published in Deloitte Access Economics (2017), 39.8 per cent of Australians are not getting enough sleep, which is leading to $17.9bn worth of productivity losses.
Another study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion (2018) has indicated that employees who report ‘almost always’ feeling tired during the day had 4.4 times more productivity loss compared to employees who reported to ‘almost never’ feeling tired.
“We’ve become an ‘always-on’ society and while it may seem like a win for businesses, what they gain in hours is lost in efficiency,” AccessEAP Clinical Director, Marcela Slepica said.
Lack of sleep is said to affect workplace efficiency through its negative impacts on thinking clearly, learning, concentrating and retaining important information.
Poor sleep may also lead to low mood and poor emotional well-being, anger and impatience while, on the extreme end, it can have serious psychological effects, including paranoia and memory loss.
It has been said that exhaustion in industries such as the health industry, fatigue-related errors could have serious consequences for not only workers but for customers.
To ensure employees achieve a good night sleep, Ms Slepica recommends:
- Regular sleep patterns
- Relax at night with a warm shower or bath
- Make sure your bedroom is dark and comfortable with moderate-to-cool temperature and free of electronics
- To settle a busy mind, write notes/lists before bedtime
- Listening to soft music can have a calming effect
- Avoid spicy food, alcohol, caffeine and even exercise right before bed
- If you suffer from night-time muscle cramps, magnesium may help to alleviate symptoms
- Meditation and deep breathing can be helpful before sleep to still the mind
For people who find sleep difficult despite implementing self-relaxation techniques, consulting a GP is recommended.
August 5-11 is Sleep Awareness Week in Australia – sleephealthfoundation.org.au/key-events/about-sleep-awareness-week.html