We can all relate to feeling tired and run down if we don’t get enough sleep. However, not getting enough sleep over a longer period of time can have a big impact on our physical and mental health.
The NHS says that one in three of us suffers from poor sleep in the UK, with stress, taking work home and the ‘always on’ culture often blamed. In the automotive industry, sleep can be even more of an issue, due to shift work, tough sales targets and financial pressures keeping us awake at night and stopping us getting our much-needed rest.
The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is around eight hours, but some people need more, while others can cope with less. We each need to work out what works for us and then get into a healthy sleep pattern, as getting it right helps us achieve a long, happy and healthy life.
A poor night’s sleep is likely to leave us feeling irritable, tired and lethargic and can affect how we perform at work or home the next day. If your sleep is disrupted for a number of nights, you’re likely to find it difficult to concentrate and make sound decisions. Risk of accidents (and potential injury) increases and your mental health could suffer too.
We might not be getting enough sleep for all sorts of reasons. This can be because we are struggling with things affecting our mental health, physical health or quite often, money worries. Once we have addressed these, our sleep can improve dramatically.
If you think your lack of good sleep is being affected by a particular reason, click on the links below to find some advice and tips to help you get back on track.
Nearly a quarter of people in Britain have problems with sleep on a regular basis (The Sleep Council) and almost half of us lose sleep because of stress or worries. After a poor night’s sleep you will often feel tired, short-tempered and find it hard to focus. However, the odd night without sleep won’t harm your health.
Yet, after several sleepless nights, you are likely to experience more serious effects. You will probably find your brain feels foggy, which makes decision-making and concentration difficult. You’ll potentially feel low and may drop off to sleep during the day. This also increases your risk of having an accident or injuring yourself.
It is recommended that adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night so they can function at their best. You can try this simple test as tried out recently by the BBC to see if you are getting enough sleep.
Preparation for Good Quality Sleep
1. Take the time to wind down.
Sleep preparation is important
3. Switching off electronics
4. Exercise in the morning
5. Don't eat too late in the evening - and watch what you eat
6. Discuss your sleep routine with others in your household
NHS - How to Get to Sleep - Tips from the UK's National Health Service on how to prepare for a better night's sleep.