Updated: Aug 23
CHALLENGE 5 Swipe Less, Sleep More.
Poor sleep affects every aspect of our mental and physical wellbeing. It has been linked to depression, anxiety, poor concentration and memory problems and is a contributing factor in weight gain, blood pressure problems, poor immune response and fertility. It has also been estimated that lack of sleep cost the UK economy £40 billion in 2016 so the importance of improving both the quality and quantity of our sleep can’t be overemphasised!
But which come first? Does poor sleep cause poor mental health or does poor mental health cause lack of sleep? The irony is they feed each other, and can quickly lead to a vicious cycle of increased stress and an inability to cope.
To be better, do better and perform better in all aspects of our lives we need to make sleep a priority, but like so many things the amount of sleep we each need is unique to each of us. It can be anything from 6 to 10 hours, but research and the consensus is saying we should all aim for at least 7 hours and preferably 8.
So today’s Mental Health Awareness Week challenge should you choose to take it is an easy one. I'm not going to suggest you get more sleep - given the discussion above that's a given. Instead i'm going to suggest you try something a little more radical..... leave your phone, laptop, iPad, tablet or any other device out of the bedroom – even if it’s just for tonight.
No matter how important you think your work, project, company or business are, none of these things is as important as you, your mental health, your wellbeing and your future productivity. You don’t have to be constantly on and available to get things done, in fact evidence is increasingly showing the contrary to be the case.
This one small act might improve both the quality and quantity of sleep you get tonight and if the world doesn’t end after one night you may be tempted to try it again.
Find more free resources to support your career and mental health here