Workplace, Tips & Tricks 3 minute read

Better sleep plays a major role in workplace success

Sleep, along with diet and exercise, is one of our major health pillars. However, despite its importance, sleep tends to receive far less attention. This is interesting given the role sleep plays in not only employee wellbeing but the overall wellbeing of organisations.

The financial impact of insufficient sleep costs Australia $66.3 billion per year in lost productivity, health bills and impact on wellbeing. Lost productivity alone is valued at $17.9 billion, which includes $6.7 billion in costs arising from employees underperforming on the job. 

Sleep is the most valuable thing we can do to reset our brain and restore body health each day (Walker, 2017). It enriches complex brain functions such as our ability to learn, memorise, and make logical decisions and choices. Sleep recalibrates our emotional circuits, supporting us to navigate next-day social and psychological challenges successfully.

Science also understands that when we sleep and dream, our brains take a neurochemical bath that helps us to integrate and process our emotional experiences of the day. Sleep also strengthens the immune system, keeps our metabolism in check, lowers blood pressure and helps keep our hearts healthy. Yet many of us aren't getting enough sleep.

Recent research by the Sleep Health Foundation of Australia found that about 60% of adults experience trouble either falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking too early and not being able to get back to sleep, at least three times per week. 

 

image-from-rawpixel-id-67231-jpeg

 

Sleep has been shown to have a significant impact on employee performance. According to a report into employee sleep by Deloitte Access Economics, adequate sleep improves concentration and decision making. Conversely, creativity is greatly impacted when employees don’t get enough sleep. Ideas and innovation are less likely and problem-solving and decision making capacity is reduced.

Without adequate sleep, employees are also more prone to be emotionally unstable, moody, aggressive and forgetful; causing poor decision making and leading to a breakdown in team morale. Absenteeism and presenteeism – reduced working days, and reduced productivity respectively – have a direct effect on Australian businesses.

The cost of absenteeism alone is estimated at 5.5 days per person with a serious sleep condition, every year. As such, organisations willing to address the issue of poor sleep will be at a competitive advantage. 

image-from-rawpixel-id-325289-jpeg (1)

Supporting sleep difficulties

When it comes to supporting difficulties with sleep, there are generally two methods: relaxation-based and mindfulness-based practices. Mindfulness meditation and relaxation practices have some similarities, yet they also have distinctly different approaches and intentions. We teach both in our Sleep and Work Recovery Workshop.

Relaxation-based

Relaxation-based practices aim to create a physical state of decreased sympathetic arousal and an emotional state of calm. Typical relaxation practices include deep or diaphragmatic breathing, guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation. The elicitation of a relaxation response via such methods may be helpful for some people experiencing sleep difficulties.

Mindfulness-based

Mindfulness-based approaches to support better sleep differs from relaxation-based practices in that there is a diversion from an outcome-oriented approach to a process-oriented approach. From a mindfulness perspective, difficulty sleeping is viewed as a temporary state, and the attachment to sleeping better becomes the cause of sleep-related distress. Therefore mindfulness-based approaches to better sleep emphasise the cultivation of present moment awareness, acceptance, non-judgment and self-compassion to alleviate the distress that can arise during sleeplessness. Theory suggests this process-oriented stance of mindfulness enhances self-regulation, adaptive action and tempers stress reactivity.

image-from-rawpixel-id-378942-jpeg

The Sleep sections of the Smiling Mind App primarily features multi-modal meditation practices, in that they invite mindfulness and utilise common relaxation methods such as guided imagery, deep breathing or listening to soundscapes. For example, the Oceans practice, instructs breath awareness (mindfulness) and invites the user to listen to an ocean soundscape (relaxation-based). Try it tonight!

The invitation to cultivate mindfulness skills like sensing, noticing and paying attention to the present moment are inherent within all Smiling Mind guided meditations, as is the cultivation of attitudes such as non-judgment and acceptance. Both implicit and explicit in the Smiling Mind sleep meditations, the development of these attitudes may support users to make peace with night-time wakefulness, rather than attain an outcome of relaxation.

Get your team sleeping right!

We've developed a new Sleep and Work Recovery Workshop, specifically for workplaces.  The 60 minute workshop is one to add to your Wellbeing Calendar, click here to find out more!

Reference:
- Walker, Matthew P. Why we sleep. New York: Scribner, 2017

Smiling Mind

Written by Smiling Mind

Latest

How to Master Your Workday in 2022

Learn how to maximise your time off, to master your workday.  After two years of working from home, the office, or both,...

Workplace, Tips & Tricks, Self care 3 minute read

The Great Retention

As we slowly come out of the depths of the pandemic, around the world, companies are reporting unprecedented rates of re...

Workplace, Mental Health, Meditation, Self care, Informal mindfulness, Retention 3 minute read

5 minutes with illustrator, Emma Leonard

Emma Leonard is a multi-disciplinary Australian artist and illustrator specialising in Fashion and Beauty. Inspired by n...

Self care, Informal mindfulness 4 minute read

Navigating news coverage with your family in 2022

With images of long testing queues, exhausted healthcare workers, packed hospitals and rapidly increasing infection char...

Children, Parents, Mental Health, Self care, Informal mindfulness, COVID19 3 minute read
Quote of the week
“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.”
Pema Chödrön

At home

Navigating news coverage with your family in 2022

With images of long testing queues, exhausted healthcare workers, packed hospitals and rapidly increasing infection char...

Children, Parents, Mental Health, Self care, Informal mindfulness, COVID19 3 minute read

Wrapping the year that's been with your child

Practising gratitude with your children is an excellent way to bring their focus back to positive moments. 

Children, Family, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

5 top tips to support your child's mental health

The Smiling Mind State of Mind report found that 41% of parents reported the pandemic has had a negative impact on the m...

Children, Family, Parents, Informal mindfulness 6 minute read

At Work

How to Master Your Workday in 2022

Learn how to maximise your time off, to master your workday.  After two years of working from home, the office, or both,...

Workplace, Tips & Tricks, Self care 3 minute read

The Great Retention

As we slowly come out of the depths of the pandemic, around the world, companies are reporting unprecedented rates of re...

Workplace, Mental Health, Meditation, Self care, Informal mindfulness, Retention 3 minute read

Switching off and reflecting on the year that’s been.

This week marks the end of the working year for many of us, as we finally slide into the summer holidays and begin to ta...

Workplace, Mental Health, Meditation, Self care, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

At school

5 Steps To A Better Night’s Sleep

It’s no secret getting a good night’s sleep works wonders for your mental and physical health – but for some, getting a ...

Family, Students, Schools, Mental Health, Meditation, Informal mindfulness 5 minute read

3 Ways to Support Your Kids As They Return To The Classroom

After months of lockdown and homeschooling for the country’s two most populated cities, the time has finally come for ki...

Family, Students, Schools, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

5 minutes with Principal, Tip Kennedy.

Meet Tip Kennedy. Tip is a principal at Richmond West, an inner Melbourne primary school that recently received its very...

Teachers, Schools 3 minute read

News

How Smiling Mind put preventative Mental Health care on the map

There is perhaps no greater challenge than to start something out of nothing.  Ten years ago, this is exactly the challe...

Mental Health, COVID19, Media release 2 minute read

Partnership Announcement - Kmart

We are excited today to announce a new partnership between Smiling Mind and Kmart. Built on a shared vision of a happier...

Mental Health, Media release 1 minute read

Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System is a game changer for mental health prevention

Smiling Mind has supported findings released today from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, speci...

Media release 2 minute read
Recent initiatives
Screen Shot 2020-11-16 at 3.30.05 pm

NAIDOC Week with Jack Charles