Sleep is essential. It is something your body needs in order to function. Research proves that if you suffer from poor sleep patterns you can develop irrational behaviour, leading to poor judgment and decisions.
Sleep has a major impact on cognitive function and physical and emotional health. The average person needs around eight hours sleep each night. How much sleep do you or your peers get on average? One of the consequences of not sleeping regularly is the inability to focus and concentrate for long periods of time. You feel tired and exhausted with reduced spatial awareness, making you less alert. Lack of sleep has also been linked to obesity as chemicals and hormones that play a key role in controlling appetite and weight gain are released when you sleep.
One of the most common causes of insomnia is stress and negativity. Unavoidable stress, such as a loved one in hospital or an examination, may upset your normal sleep cycle. However, once these challenges are resolved, your sleep patterns are likely to return to normal. If you travel abroad regularly for work, then jet lag can also seriously disturb your sleep patterns.
I want you to recommend these possible solutions as an alternative to medication if you or your team members suffer from insomnia or poor sleep patterns:
Control the number of caffeinated and sugary drinks that you have throughout the day. Caffeine and sugar stimulate you for short periods of time. You will tend to rollercoaster through the day as you experience the various caffeine and sugar surges. I’ve seen people live off ‘energy’ drinks just to keep themselves awake but they are doing more damage to their health ‐ both physically and mentally ‐ than they realise.
In general, most people tend to have a dip in alertness and energy levels between 2‐4pm. If this applies to your team, then give them the option of taking a 10‐ to 15‐minute power nap!
Deep breathing ‐ try this simple exercise for 5‐10 minutes. Use your abdomen rather than your chest by inhaling through your nose, pausing for 3‐5 seconds then exhaling.
One of the things that have really helped me is using lavender oil on my pillow before I sleep. This can help you calm yourself and collect your thoughts before you sleep.
Don’t eat after 9pm. If hunger does get the better of you, try to stick to something very light, such as a piece of toast. This type of food will release a hormone called serotonin that will help you become sleepy.
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