Sleep and recovery in the workplace
Sleep is essential for health and wellbeing. However, 1 in 3 adults suffer from insomnia.
Having poor sleep on a regular basis can put individuals at risk of serious medical conditions. This includes obesity, heart disease and diabetes. It can also increase their risk of mental health problems.
Organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of sleep deprivation on their employees' health and wellbeing. Many businesses have already taken practical steps to support sleep and recovery in their workplace. It makes business sense to do this, as lack of sleep can impact on good decision-making, creativity, safety, productivity and competitiveness.
Sleep deprivation is often associated with shift work, or with working anti-social hours. However, employees in any organisation, regardless of their working pattern, can experience sleep deprivation. Stress at work and poor job design can also negatively impact on an employees’ quantity and quality of sleep, affecting their ability to recover well and perform at their best.
Most of us need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. Do your employees get enough?
Cost of sleep deprivation to businesses
- 200,000 working days are lost in the UK every year due to insufficient sleep.
- Sleep deprivation is estimated to cost the UK economy over £30 billion a year. This is attributed to lower productivity levels and higher mortality rates.
- Those getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night have a 13% higher mortality risk than those getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
- Working night shifts has about a 25-30% higher risk of injury than working day shifts.
Statistics taken from the ‘Sleep and Recovery Toolkit for Employers’, Business in the Community, 2018.
Support in Staffordshire
Everyone Health Staffordshire
Everyone Health Staffordshire offer a free healthy lifestyle service to Staffordshire residents. This includes support to help people lose weight, get more active and stop smoking. Please note, some restrictions do apply.
They also offer a free healthy workplace service to some businesses in Staffordshire, to support employees to stay healthy. Restrictions do apply, so please contact Everyone Health to discuss if your business may be eligible.
Healthier You - NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme
Staffordshire residents who are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes may be eligible for free support from the Healthier You - NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. Why not encourage your employees to check their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, by using the 'know your risk' tool. It's free and it only takes a few minutes.
Or if you would like a member of the Diabetes Prevention Team to come into your workplace to raise awareness of the risks of Type 2 diabetes with your staff, please email: WorkplaceHealth@staffordshire.gov.uk
Resources to promote sleep and recovery awareness in the workplace
Below are some guides, websites and resources to help you to promote sleep and recovery in your workplace.
Business in the Community has partnered with Public Health England to produce the first ever sleep and recovery toolkit. This informative toolkit provides information, resources and practical actions that employers can take to maximise employer energy through effective sleep and recovery.
This is on the NHS website. Find out whether you have a sleep problem by taking this short test to reveal your ‘sleep score’.
- Sleep diary (produced by the Loughborough Sleep Research Centre)
Keeping a sleep diary can help you to track your sleeping patterns, which may uncover lifestyle habits that contribute to your sleeplessness.
The diary also contains 10 rules for improved sleep hygiene. This means doing things which are known to improve sleep and avoiding things which are known to disturb sleep. These are based on scientific research.
Making a small change could make a big difference to your sleep!
Debt is an issue that can trigger anxiety and depression, leading to poor sleep. Staffordshire’s 'Entitled To' benefits checker is a free online calculator that enables people to find out what benefits they may be entitled to. It takes around 10 minutes to complete and all details provided are anonymous.
Campaigns, websites and apps:
This website has a 'trouble sleeping?' section and covers a range of sleep related topics, such as 'understanding sleep problems' and 'top tips to better sleep'. You can also get a free your mind plan to help you deal with stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, boost your mood and feel more in control.
This website has useful information on tiredness and fatigue, including sections on why you might be tired all the time, common energy stealers and10 tips to beat insomnia.
This website includes a section on fatigue, particularly emphasising the health and safety risks associated with shift work.
This website explains the relationship between sleep and mental health. It includes tips on improving sleep.
Find out about the most common sleep disorders and how to treat them. You can also download the ‘how to sleep better’ guide for free.
Driving is the most dangerous work activity that most people do. This website contains links to useful guides, such as the 'driver fatigue and road accidents factsheet', which links to the ‘driving for work: safer journey planner guide', which can help ensure that your employees’ journeys are properly planned.
There are an increasing number of health and wellbeing apps available. We are making it easier for you and your employees to find apps that can help you to stay healthy and well with our health and wellbeing app finder tool. This includes the top rated apps for sleep.
The Cannock Chase Can app is available for free to Cannock Chase residents, to help them improve their health and wellbeing. It hosts a variety of wellness challenges developed by the community, local organisations and businesses.
Staffordshire Connects is our easy to use directory. It provides details about hundreds of different care, support and wellbeing organisations, local activities, clubs and community groups taking place across Staffordshire.
You can find a range of healthy lifestyle support services within the 'Adults and Communities' section, under 'Health and Wellness'.
Take a look at this interesting article on sleep.
As there is a close relationship between sleep and mental health, take a look at the mental health and wellbeing in the workplace section for ideas on how to support your employees to improve their mental health.
Get in touch
Let us know what you’re doing in your workplace on Sleep and Recovery Awareness by emailing Workplace Health.