A Conversation with GoodSleep® Creator, Dr. Gregg Jacobs

A good day starts with GoodSleepTM

goodsleep new cover

How an employee sleeps at night directly impacts how they function and perform at work, thereby impacting productivity, safety, health, health care costs, and more. While a company can outsource sleep education and training with CIRCADIAN’s Corporate Sleep Programs™, they cannot outsource an employee’s sleep.

Enter GoodSleep®.

CIRCADIAN® is the global leader in providing research, technology and consulting services to companies that operate around the clock. Recognizing that demands on the global workforce increasingly stretch the boundaries of employee work hours, there is a need to provide sleep solutions for ALL corporate employees, including those who sleep at night. CIRCADIAN’S Corporate Sleep Programs are designed to address their sleep and fatigue issues for those who work “normal” daytime hours.

Integral to CIRCADIAN’s Corporate Sleep Programs is GoodSleep, a cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) program developed by CIRCADIAN consultant and renowned sleep and insomnia expert, Dr. Gregg Jacobs.

About Dr. Gregg Jacobs

Gregg JacobsDr. Jacobs is a leading authority on the treatment of insomnia and has spent the last 25 years researching and treating sleep problems at Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Dr. Jacobs developed the first drug-free program for insomnia, which has proven to be, more effective than sleeping pills. He has taught his insomnia program to thousands of patients and to major corporations, such as Raytheon, Biogen, Reebok, and Fidelity. Dr. Jacobs used his revolutionary insomnia program to develop GoodSleep.

About GoodSleep

GoodSleep is a 5-week, self-guided audio and/or workbook-based program for people to improve their sleep by implementing behavior modifications. This CBT program has been proven to help hundreds of thousands of people to improve their sleep.

Nancy Rothstein, Director of CIRCADIAN’s Corporate Sleep Programs, had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Gregg Jacobs to ask him about trends in sleep habits and the role of GoodSleep in correcting sleep problems.

How did you become involved in the field of sleep?

Dr. Jacobs: I specialized in behavioral medicine and health psychology, two fields in medicine and psychology that were concerned with the impact of stress and lifestyle on health. Because sleep problems are so common, and non-drug methods could clearly be applied to the treatment of insomnia as an alternative to sleeping pills, I became very interested in behavioral sleep medicine and insomnia.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of adults report sleep problems a few nights a week or more. Why do so many people have sleep issues?

Dr. Jacobs: Because sleep is affected by, and affects, so many medical and psychological conditions. Sleep is also directly tied to stress and many of the alterations in our environment in modern life such as 24/7 lifestyle and technology and blue light exposure at night.

There is so much in the press these days about sleep, what to do and what not to do. How can a person define what constitutes healthy sleep for themselves?

Dr. Jacobs: Healthy sleep entails the amount of sleep that allows them to feel alert and energetic during the day, which is between seven to nine hours of sleep for the vast majority of adults.

How do you know if you need to see your physician or a sleep specialist to diagnose and treat a possible sleep disorder?

Dr. Jacobs: The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) methods taught in GoodSleep have been proven more effective than sleeping pills in treating nocturnal insomnia, but if you have an underlying medical condition or sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, restless legs or narcolepsy, you should consult your doctor for your diagnosis and specific treatment of that condition, in order to reap the full benefits of GoodSleep.

What are the most common sleep issues that GoodSleep can address?

Dr. Jacobs: Anyone who has difficulty falling asleep or can’t stay asleep, whether this occurs occasionally or regularly, and is not getting enough sleep. The program is also very effective for helping those who are taking sleeping pills, to reduce or eliminate the pills.

How does GoodSleep work?

Dr. Jacobs: GoodSleep is a cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (or CBT-I for short) program that is based on almost three decades of sleep research and clinical practice at the Harvard and UMass Memorial Medical Centers. CBT-I is a technique that changes the sleep behaviors that are causing sleep problems. It is structured, sleep-focused, and easy to implement for most people. Learned thoughts and behaviors that are keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep can be unlearned or changed with CBT.

For people having a hard time sleeping, CBT helps them learn to:

  • Change stressful, untrue thoughts about sleep;
  • Change behaviors that keep them awake;
  • Improve relaxation skills; and,
  • Improve lifestyle habits that affect sleep.

How much time does GoodSleep take to use?

Dr. Jacobs: GoodSleep requires about three minutes per week to review the techniques in the program and put those techniques into effect.

What are the components of GoodSleep?

Dr. Jacobs: The components of GoodSleep include:

  • Sleep scheduling techniques to change negative sleep patterns;
  • Establishing healthy sleep habits and behaviors to make the bed a stronger cure for sleep;
  • Guided bedtime relaxation exercises;
  • Tips on simple lifestyle changes that improve sleep; and,
  • Techniques to reduce and eliminate sleep medication.

Does GoodSleep’s CBT technique alone lead to success or are there other factors involved in sustainable sleep improvement?

Dr. Jacobs: Sustainable improvement is based on the individual being motivated to maintain the use of the learned techniques. Because these techniques become more ‘automatic’ over time, and long-term follow- up data indicates that people experience even greater improvement in sleep over time. People clearly maintain their use of the techniques without much difficulty.

Can you tell us about the success of your program?

Dr. Jacobs: There has been an 80% success in significantly improving sleep for people who have difficulty sleeping. This program has helped to reduce or eliminate use of sleeping pills for 90% of people who use them.

Why do you think a corporation should invest in the sleep education and training, including GoodSleep, for its workforce?

Dr. Jacobs: Sleep problems are amongst the most prevalent of all health problems. Workers with sleep problems will perform more poorly, and cost their employers more, than good sleepers. There is no other health problem that can have a more direct negative effect on daytime performance and productivity.

So how do you get started? We invite you to visit GoodSleep on our website for more information.

We also invite you to learn more about CIRCADIAN’s Corporate Sleep Programs® to consider how investing in sleep education and training for your workforce has an ROI and results in optimizing performance, minimizing health care costs and safety risks, and improving the health and well-being of your workforce...and your company.

Thursday, 22 January 2015 16:37

The ROI of a Good Night's Sleep

The ROI of a Good Night's Sleep

By Nancy H. Rothstein, MBA
The Sleep Ambassador®
Director, CIRCADIAN® Corporate Sleep ProgramsTM

For cost conscious employers, it’s time to regard employee sleep as a core corporate investment. Employee sleep is a valuable asset with an ROI demanding attention. The question is not when you will offer Sleep Wellness initiatives, but if you can afford not to.

Sleep is not optional; it’s a necessity, as essential as food and oxygen. Irrefutable scientific evidence reveals that the third of our lives that we spend sleeping profoundly impacts the two thirds we spend awake.[1] Sleep is critical to virtually all aspects of our functioning and affects the performance, safety and health of every member of your workforce. Our biological needs have not changed. Yet our behaviors have changed due to the extended demands on our time, often leading to sleep deprivation, which is wreaking havoc on your employees.

A WAKE UP CALL FOR MANAGEMENT

Here’s the bottom line: How employees sleep at home directly impacts how they function at work, on virtually all levels. Be it productivity, performance, safety, health or health care costs, sleep deprivation has a significant impact on an employee and in turn, on their employer.

The evolution of a 24/7 society has caused sleep debt (the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep)[2] to steadily increase. Unfortunately, this liability is not reported on balance sheets, but it is likely impacting your bottom line.

Consider the findings of a 2012 study: “When employees are low on sleep, they will engage in more workplace cyberloafing. In the push for high productivity, managers and organizations may cut into the sleep of employees by requiring longer work hours. This may promote vicious cycles of lost sleep, resulting in less time spent working, which could result in more frantic pushes for extended work time. Managers may find that by avoiding infringement on employee sleep, they will get more productivity out of their employees”[3] and more effective use of their time.

In our 24/7 culture, the line between work and personal time is often blurred. But all of our time is compromised when we do not get good quality and quantity sleep. As companies demand more from their employees, our waking hours are stretched all the more. At what cost?

THE COSTS

The CDC recently announced that insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic in the United States. Sleep insufficiency has been linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, as well as other occupational errors.[4]

A National Consumer Research Institute study reported that 76% of Americans want to improve the quality and quantity of their sleep,[5] while the National Sleep Foundation reports that over 60% of adults have sleep problems a few nights a week or more.[6] According to the CDC, 30% of the U.S. civilian adult workforce reported getting 6 hours or less of sleep per day, less than the 7 to 9 hours recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. Consequently, “Because short sleep duration is associated with various adverse health effects, decreased workplace and public safety, and impaired job performance, targeted interventions are needed to increase the proportion of adults who get sufficient sleep.” [7] What are the costs of sleep deprivation to your workforce?

Showing up at work but being less than fully productive is referred to as “presenteeism.”[8] Sleep deprived workers go to work, but their productivity is greatly compromised because they are so tired. For instance, one Harvard Medical School study found that 1 in 4 U.S. workers has insomnia, costing U.S. employers $63 billion in lost productivity each year. Insomniacs were no more likely than their well-rested peers to miss work, but they were so consistently tired on the job that they cost their employers the equivalent of 7.8 days of work in lost productivity each year -- an amount equal to an average of about $2,280 per person.[9] [10]

What are the costs to your company of insufficient employee sleep? Consider The 10 Dangers of a Sleep Deprived Workforce,[11] which highlights the various risks associated with sleep deprivation, including: poor cognitive assimilation and memory, greater risk taking behavior and general performance deterioration across a myriad of functions. Many who are sleep deprived think they are performing fine; when in fact, they are unaware of their performance decline. Furthermore, consider sleep deprivation’s impact on effective teamwork, another example of the powerful ripple effect of a sleep-deprived workforce.

The costs are high. A 2006 study by the Institute of Medicine confirmed that billions of dollars are spent each year in the United States on the direct costs of sleep loss and sleep disorders. Add to that the tens of billions of dollars in annual expenditures due to indirect costs such as accidents, litigation, property destruction, absenteeism, disability, reduction or loss of productivity, hospitalization, and death. In fact, the study states that a conservative estimate of the total annual cost of insomnia alone was as high as $107.5 billion per year[12] -- and that’s just one sleep issue!

THE SOLUTION:
SLEEP EDUCATION & TRAINING- INVESTING IN HUMAN CAPITAL

Recognizing the urgency for a response to sleep health, by providing sleep education and training, corporate leadership can influence a paradigm shift both within the corporate culture and for employees to carry home. With the Internet at our fingertips, sleep information is prevalent. How do we use this information to create a pathway to sustainable sleep improvement?

Today, companies invest in their human capital with a wide range of training and development initiatives. Investing in sleep education and training offers ROI benefits across a broad spectrum of performance, risk and cost related measures. A well-rested workforce is more likely to excel in productivity, concentration, motivation, information processing, judgment, reaction time, and energy. Add to that the relationship between sleep duration and mood regulation, along with sleep deprivation’s impact on effective teamwork, and a powerful ripple effect results.

While many corporate functions can be outsourced, an individual employee’s sleep cannot. At the end of the day, or night, the employee is in charge of their sleep habits and behaviors. However, companies can outsource to sleep experts the critical sleep education and training for their workforce, empowering employees to improve and reprioritize their sleep – not only for work, but also for their personal health, and ability to enjoy hours spent awake. Now that’s a perk! Here’s a way to enhance employee loyalty and dedication to the company by being an employer who values a work-life balance.

Sleep education and training may be one of the most powerful, yet underutilized resources available to leverage and optimize human capital within your company.

CONCLUSION: THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT

Research confirms that employee sleep is a critical asset that impacts employee productivity, performance, health, safety and the bottom line of your company. Far from being a time waster, sleep makes everyone more productive, healthier and safer.

In today’s society where people work well beyond “normal” hours, sleep needs to be a priority for both employee and employer. Yet, this may require a shift in corporate culture, with management supporting the reprioritization of sleep. For corporate management, a well-rested employee will yield a higher return than an employee putting in 16-hour “days” on a regular basis.

Corporate management has an opportunity to optimize its workforce by providing expert Sleep Wellness education and training initiatives so employees can optimize their sleep. The ROI of a good night’s sleep has multiple returns. It’s time to wake up your workplace to the power of sleep.


About CIRCADIAN

CIRCADIAN® is the global leader in providing 24/7 workforce performance and safety solutions for businesses that operate around the clock. Through a unique combination of consulting expertise, research and technology, software tools and informative publications, CIRCADIAN helps organizations with traditional and/or extended operating hours optimize employee performance and reduce the inherent risks and costs of sleep deprivation and fatigue.

 


[1] Sleepless In America, Documentary produced by National Geographic, the National Institutes of Health and The Public Goods Project. December 2014

[2] Dement, William C., MD, PhD, The Promise of Sleep. Delacorte Press, Random House Inc., New York, 1999.

[3] Wagner, D. T., Barnes, C. M., Lim, V. K. G., & Ferris, D. L. (2012, February 27). Lost Sleep and Cyberloafing: Evidence From the Laboratory and a Daylight Saving Time Quasi-Experiment. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/a0027557

[4] Centers for Disease Control, Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic. CDC Features.

[5] National Sleep Foundation, National Consumer Research Institute Predicts Top Five Health Trends for 2012. Sleep News, December 2011.

[6] National Sleep Foundation, 2009 Sleep in America™ Poll, Highlights and Key Findings, March 2009.

7] Centers for Disease Control, Short Sleep Duration Among Workers- United States, 2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), April 27, 2012/61(16); 281-285.

[8] Hemp, Paul. Presenteeism: At Work – But Out of It, Harvard Business Review, October 2004.

[9] Kessler RC; Berglund PA; Coulouvrat C; Hajak G; Roth T; Shahly V; Shillington AC; Stephenson JJ; Walsh JK. Insomnia and the performance of US workers: results from the America Insomnia Survey. SLEEP 2011;34(9):1161-1171.

[10] Insomnia costing U.S. workforce $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity, study shows. American Academy of Sleep Medicine, News Archive, September 1, 2011.

[11] 10 Dangers of a Sleep Deprived Workforce. Circadian®, July 10, 2014.

[12] Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 4, Functional and Economic Impact of Sleep Loss and Sleep-Related Disorders. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19958/

Monday, 07 December 2015 21:14

15 Sleep Resolutions for 2016

Here’s a new year’s resolution that you will want to uphold – a better night of sleep!

Below are 15 simple sleep (re)solutions that will help you sleep your way to a successful new year!

1. Turn off your technology before bed

eReaders night time

The bright light emitted from computer screens, smartphones, and eReaders inhibit the production of melatonin and delay circadian rhythms. Recent research has revealed that nighttime eReader usage can reduce nighttime sleepiness, fragment sleep, and reduce alertness the following morning.

Avoid contact with light-emitting screens and other bright lights at least a couple of hours before you plan to go to bed.

2. Get a new alarm clock

alarm clock

A smartphone makes for a convenient alarm clock; however, sticking to the old-fashion alarm clock is a better choice. Phone notifications and messages throughout the night can result in sleep fragmentation and microarousals.

Not willing to buy an alarm clock? At the very least, put your phone on airplane mode and on the opposite side of the room from your bed.

3. Ditch the late afternoon latte

alt

The effects of caffeine can last anywhere from 2.5 to 10 hours, which means that a mid-afternoon cup of coffee could result in tossing and turning when bedtime rolls around.

4. Set a Netflix limit

netflix at night

You’re only going to watch the first episode of the latest season of House of Cards? Unlikely.

Save yourself from a late-night Netflix binge by determining in advance how many episode you will watch before you go to start watching your shows. And for the love of sleep – don’t start the next season before bed!

5. Put a cap on the night caps

alcohol at night

While that night cap may help you fall asleep faster, it will end up doing more harm than good to the quality of your sleep.

Alcohol initially acts as a sedative to decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep; however, it causes sleep to be fragmented, especially during the 2nd half of the night.

6. Develop a bedtime routine

bedtime routine

Practicing a bedtime routine is ideal for preparing your mind and body for sleep. Listening to soothing music, taking a bath or shower, and light stretching are all great examples of bedtime routines that will help make falling asleep much easier.

7. No pets in the bed

pets in bed

It may be hard to kick your beloved pet out of the bedroom, but it’s for the best – we promise! Research this year found that of the individuals who shared the bed with their pets at least four nights a week, 63% reported poor sleep quality.

How is your furry friend impacting your sleep? Between their animated dreams, barks, meows, and spontaneous arousals, pets can seriously disrupt your sleep.

Some animals also operate on different biological clocks than humans. For instance, cats have poor biological rhythms of sleep and alertness, which can result in your playful cat waking you up at 4 AM.

8. Stick to your bedtime

set a bedtime

While it may seem juvenile, a regular bed time can be incredibly helpful for the synchronization of your internal clock, which can help you to fall asleep easier. Setting a bed time will also help you to get the proper amount of sleep each night.

9. Don't be a clock watcher

insomnia clock

When experiencing insomnia, clock-watching will often worsen the insomnia and make falling back to sleep much more challenging.

In order to avoid clock-watching behavior, refrain from sleeping with your phone at your bedside, and also cover alarm and TV clocks with black electric tape.

10. Stop falling for the snooze button

snooze button

The extra sleep with the snooze button may actually be leaving your MORE tired than just getting up the first time!

When you hit the snooze button, your body may restart its sleep cycle, entering into deeper stages of sleep and causing you to feel groggy and tired upon waking up. It’s best to just wake up upon the first alarm, as your body prepares itself to wake up even before your alarm clock goes off.

Can’t seem to break your snooze button habit? Try putting your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room from your bed. This will force you to get out of bed to turn off the alarm, and decrease the likelihood of you hitting the snooze button.

11. Cut out noise

white noise machine

Try to keep your sleep environment as quiet as possible in order to avoid micro arousals. Some great ways to reduce external noise include using earplugs or a white noise machine.

If you are less inclined to purchase a white noise machine, there are plenty of CDs and MP3s of white noise sounds that can be used with a sound system.

12. Have a sleep disorders screening

sleep disorder screening

Do you habitually snore? Have trouble falling asleep? Excessively tired during the day? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have an underlying sleep disorder.

It’s estimated that between 50-70 million Americans have a sleep and/or alertness disorder.1 Without proper treatment, these disorders can seriously impact your health and daily functioning. In fact, untreated obstructive sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and depression.

13. Start napping correctly

workplace napping

Need a mid-day boost? A power nap is the perfect solution – if done properly.

To maximize the effectiveness of your power nap, keep it shorter than 30 minutes to avoid sleep inertia, which can leave you feeling groggy for the rest of the day. Can’t fall asleep in that short of a time frame? Don’t worry about it! You don’t necessarily have to fall asleep to feel the benefits of a nap.

It’s also important not to nap too late in the day, as this can cause sleep troubles come bed time.

Napping trick: Drink a caffeinated beverage immediately before taking a nap so that you will feel supercharged after waking up from your nap.

14. Wake up at the same time every day

rising woman

The strength of our circadian rhythms is dependent upon the consistency of our bed and wake times.

Getting up at the same time, every day (weekends too) strengthens our circadian rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning.

If you want to catch up on some zzzs, try taking a mid-afternoon nap or even going to bed earlier.

15. Get more sleep!

sleeping man

Chronic sleep deprivation is a serious issue. Studies have found that individuals who routinely sleep less than 7 hours per night have an increased risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

If you’re getting less than 7 - 8 hours of sleep a night, your #1 New Year’s Resolution should be to get more sleep! With a good night of sleep, 2016 may be YOUR year to shine!

About CIRCADIAN

CIRCADIAN® is the global leader in providing 24/7 workforce performance and safety solutions for businesses that operate around the clock. Through a unique combination of consulting expertise, research and technology, software tools and informative publications, CIRCADIAN helps organizations with traditional and/or extended operating hours optimize employee performance and reduce the inherent risks and costs of sleep deprivation and fatigue.

Resources

1. Institute of Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2006.

CIRCADIAN is pleased to announce the launch of our newest service, our Corporate Sleep Programs!

Why Corporate Sleep Programs?

In our 24/7 culture, sleep is being challenged. Research continues to add to the clear evidence that sleep deprivation directly impacts nearly every cognitive and physiological function that is imperative for optimal employee performance. As the demands on the global workforce increasingly stretch the boundaries of employee work hours, there is a need to provide sleep solutions for ALL corporate employees, including those who traditionally were thought to work “normal” hours.

Why is employee sleep behavior a corporate management issue? Because sleep directly impacts work performance.  Research confirms that sleep impacts performance, productivity, absenteeism, turnover rates, profitability, safety, health and health care costs, for both employers and their employees.  Furthermore, life outside of the workplace may also be impacted by sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality, leading to strains on functionality and well-being both at home and at work.

Sleep is a risk management issue, requiring the attention of corporate management in order to optimize its workforce.

What does CIRCADIAN's Corporate Sleep Programs include?

CIRCADIAN’s Corporate Sleep Programs offer corporations customized and research-based solutions to address the issue of Sleep Wellness for all levels of a corporation or organization’s workforce. The CIRCADIAN Corporate Sleep Programs includes:

Assessment of corporate goals and strategic needs

  • Determine client timetable, budget and outcome goals
  • Customize program scope to serve management goals
  • Design in-person, virtual  and/or Train-the-Trainer programming

Pathway to sleep improvement

  • Keynote presentations
    • Engage both management and employees with compelling sleep research and issues relevant to the audience.
    • Aim at heightening awareness to key issues and developing basic sleep knowledge.
  • Sleep Improvement Programming
    • Create seminars and training that focus on building an understanding of sleep basics, self-assessment and sleep improvement strategies, leading to effective and sustainable change. 
    • Implement strategic initiatives and tools
      • Foster a team-centric approach
      • Empower people to make lasting changes to optimize their sleep quality and quantity.
      • Provide participants with a forum for feedback

Research, metrics and data

  • Design analytical approaches to fit client’s needs
  • Incorporate program assessment and modifications based on management and participant feedback
  • Complete documentation/research regarding program metrics and data per client request

Corporate Sleep Director, Nancy H. Rothstein  

CIRCADIAN has joined forces with Nancy H. Rothstein, MBA, The Sleep Ambassador® to address the issues of sleep deficit and fatigue seen in employees of all levels within organizations and in the workplace. The combined expertise of both CIRCADIAN and Nancy provides organizations with invaluable, unique insights and specialized solutions for these issues. 

About Nancy...

sleep ambassador and nancy picAs Director of CIRCADIAN’s Corporate Sleep Programs, Nancy H. Rothstein, MBA, The Sleep Ambassador®, is a leader in bringing Sleep Wellness to the corporate sector. Nancy has consulted and lectured on Sleep Wellness to Fortune 500 corporations, the travel industry, universities/schools and to organizations, reflecting her dedication to educating and raising awareness about the importance of sleep to live and work at your best. With decades of experience in the financial and corporate sectors, Nancy brings a broad understanding of how sleep impacts corporate workforce performance and the bottom line.

  • Nancy serves as a member of the Board of the American Sleep Apnea Association and the American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry.
  • Nancy serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at NYU where she developed and teaches an online course on Sleep Wellness.
  • Inspired by personal experience, Nancy authored My Daddy Snores, a children’s book published by Scholastic Inc. which has sold over 400,000 copies to date. She created a family-friendly website (www.mydaddysnores.com), offering viewers comprehensive resources about snoring, sleep apnea and sleep in general.
  • Want to learn more about Nancy? Visit www.thesleepambassador.com for more information.
Want to learn more about the Corporate Sleep Programs?
Click here to contact CIRCADIAN for more information about the Corporate Sleep Programs

Monday, 14 July 2014 18:34

10 Tips for Sleeping Well

Do you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep at night? Are you often frustrated and discouraged by unpredictable sleep troubles? We are here to help put your mind at ease and your body to rest!

Below are ten easy ways to help improve your sleep so that you perform at your best everyday. Sleep well, live well... that's our message.

1. Avoid caffeinated beverages by mid-afternoon

The effects of caffeine can last anywhere from 2.5 to 10 hours, which means that a mid-afternoon cup of coffee could result in tossing and turning when bedtime rolls around.

2. Cut out the noise
Try to keep your sleep environment as quiet as possible in order to avoid micro arousals. Some great ways to reduce external noise include using earplugs or a white noise machine. If you are less inclined to purchase a white noise machine, there are plenty of free white noise apps that can be downloaded for your smartphone.

3. Set a bed time
While it may seem juvenile, a regular bed time can be incredibly helpful for the synchronization of your internal clock, which can help you fall asleep easier. Setting a bed time also will help you attain the proper amount of sleep each night .

4. Avoid alcohol before bed
While that night cap may help you fall asleep faster, it will end up doing more harm than good to your sleep quality. Alcohol initially acts as a sedative to decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep; however, it causes sleep to be fragmented, especially during the 2nd half of the night.

5. Associate your bed with sleep
Avoid using your phone, watching TV, surfing the web and work-related activities in bed. Eliminating non-sleep related activities from the bedroom will strengthen your association between your bed and sleep.

6. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible
Do you find yourself consistently waking up with the sun? A quick fix to this issue is to use an eye mask or to install room-darkening curtains to block out early morning light.

7. Get up!
Place your alarm on the opposite side of the room from your bed. This will help you avoid oversleeping by requiring you to get out of bed to turn it off, and will also help to make waking up a bit easier. If you are still feeling groggy when you wake up, try splashing your face with cold water or seeking out bright sunlight. 

8. Get into a bedtime routine 
Practicing a bedtime routine is ideal for preparing your mind and body for sleep. Listening to soothing music, taking a bath or shower, and light stretching are all great examples of bedtime routines that will help make falling asleep much easier.  

9. Stop watching the clock
When experiencing insomnia, clock-watching will often worsen the insomnia and make falling back to sleep much more challenging. In order to avoid clock-watching behavior, refrain from sleeping with your phone at your bedside, and also cover alarm and TV clocks with black electric tape.

10. Keep a journal
Do you struggle with a "racing mind" when you are trying to fall asleep? One quick fix is to keep a journal beside your bed to write down thoughts that pop into your mind when you are attempting to fall asleep. That way you will spend less time worrying about tomorrow and more time sleeping soundly. If you find that a journal is unhelpful, white noise is can also be helpful with falling asleep. 

About CIRCADIAN

CIRCADIAN® is the global leader in providing 24/7 workforce performance and safety solutions for businesses that operate around the clock.  Through a unique combination of consulting expertise, research and technology, software tools and informative publications, CIRCADIAN helps organizations with traditional and/or extended operating hours optimize employee performance and reduce the inherent risks and costs of sleep deprivation and fatigue.

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