Work Day blues – Are we becoming insomniacs?
It is not just mental health issues that can cause insomnia. It can also be triggered by our worries over work. Unhealthy lifestyles and sleep habits can also create insomnia.
Many of us now dread the thought of going to work on a Sunday, as we end up using our precious weekend time off fretting about work issues and dreading the start of the working week.
But why have we become so anxious about work?
On average many people are getting just six and a half hours' sleep a night, which is far less than the recommended eight hours, and more than half of us only get four hours sleep or less
Studies have shown that many people are suffering from a sleep deficit due to their anxieties about the start of a new working week.
Jason Ellis, Professor of Sleep Science at Northumbria University, said: 'As a general rule, the average person needs around eight hours sleep a night to feel the full restorative benefits.
This is particularly true of people who have very physically or mentally challenging jobs.
'"Sunday-somnia" is something I see a lot and it's important that people deal with the issues surrounding their sleep deprivation so that it doesn't have a knock on effect on sleep later in the week.'
Very often the working week, especially for those who work in an office often starts with at least one anxiety inducing meeting. Sales updates, key actions for the week and progress reports. It is often anxiety about these meetings and ensuring we have the right information to hand that leads to insomnia. Whilst those with physically challenging jobs can be anxious about getting back into action after a couple days rest.
Working at home in the evening, especially on a Saturday as we prepare for the week ahead can also make it hard to unwind, and it can also make you feel preoccupied when it comes time to sleep. The light from your computer could also make your brain more alert.
No matter the sort of job, simply knowing you have to face a new week can generate anxiety
What makes the weekend worse is that we mix up our sleep patterns as we try our best to forget about the stresses and pressures of work by sleeping in longer and trying to recuperate. But the perverse nature of this means that the more we sleep the less tired we will be in the evenings. So, as we start the new week ahead we then worry about the lack of sleep we are getting as we are less tired which leads to us sleeping less and the cycle begins again. Therefore the less sleep we get the more anxious we become. The more anxious we get the more we suffer from insomnia. It is never ending.
So what we can do to halt this cycle?
- Keep sleep routines consistent during the week, including at the weekend.
- Also ,as we’ve mentioned in other blogs reduce time spent on devices that stimulate the brain eg social media sites, emails, even reading the gossip columns on your digital device.
- Ban them from the bedroom and get an old fashioned alarm clock to wake you up or tell the time. The more you can limit these damaging blue light devices the better.
- Finally you’re not alone, as many studies have shown, more and more people are experiencing the same problem. The first step is to recognise it and work to change the behaviours that cause the effect.