The Importance of Sleep During a Pandemic

Building Employee Resilience Part 3 – Tips for Restorative Sleep

How’d you sleep last night? A typical first question of our mornings. If your employees are not showing up rested, many things can be impacted: productivity, morale, mental health, and even safety. When we think specifically about employee resilience, we have to consider the basics of self-care and well-being to ground us all in the building blocks that will help us flourish in work and life.

The 5 Building Blocks of Well-being and Self-care:

This week’s topic of our resilience series focuses on building healthy and restorative sleep habits for ourselves and tips to share with your employees. We know from research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep. From the stressors and changes due to COVID-19, it’s no surprise sleep difficulties are at an all-time high. Experts at UC Davis’s Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program are citing spikes in stress, anxiety, and depression related to the virus, leading to sleep disorders across all age groups.

Inadequate sleep can directly affect the physical and mental health of your employees. Adults who sleep six or fewer hours per night have a greater likelihood of developing a chronic condition than those who report seven or more hours of sleep. According to the CDC, insufficient sleep increases risk of:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Stroke

In addition to the individual health and emotional risks, there are direct impacts of poor sleep on an organization. Dive deep into those impacts on our blog – Workplace Interventions to Promote Sleep for Employees.

Tips for Restorative Sleep

Sleep is truly an unsung hero of health and one of the most foundational aspects of life. We MUST rest to do anything else well. It helps us thrive by supporting our immune system, keeping our brains sharp, and balancing hormones. It even affects our appetite!

Quality sleep protects our mental and physical health, keeps us safe, and ensures we have the energy needed to do what matters most to us every day. We are continually learning more about the power and importance of sleep and how it impacts everything from performance at work to show up and participate in the crucial moments of life.

The question is, how do you help your employees sleep well and long enough? Our Content and Media Labs team has done the research for you and offers these tips to help your employees build better sleep habits.

  • Avoid stimulation before rest. Limit time looking at electronics like TVs, phones, and computers. The light they emit can disrupt the hormones that help us fall asleep and stay asleep. Consider setting a timer 30-60 minutes before sleep to remove technology and start your wind-down routine. Also, think about what you’re doing right before bed – work emails, the news, or your favorite murder mystery shows might be putting you on high alert, right when you’re trying to unwind.
  • Build a routine for sleep. Think about the 30-60 minutes before you want to rest as your wind-down time. Enjoy calming and soothing activities like reading a book, listening to music, or writing! You can brew yourself a cup of herbal tea, change into comfy pajamas, and think about what you’re grateful for today or what you’d like to accomplish tomorrow. You might even try out meditation, pick up a new relaxing hobby like coloring or crocheting. Learn more about some additional daytime habits that can help you have better sleep at night in this Tipsheet.
  • Create a sleeping sanctuary. Imagine yourself sleeping soundly in a space that is cool, dark, and quiet. Humans sleep best in a room that is 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit and free of any light. Consider turning down the thermostat and turning off any unnecessary lights and sounds that might disrupt your slumber. Here’s an infographic to share with your employees to help demonstrate how they can create a sleep sanctuary.
  • Utilize your well-being program to offer activities and resources to boost sleep habits in your employees. As part of Aduro’s extensive library of content, we have 6-week Paths, such as Sleep Mode, to support our members in creating healthy habits around restorative sleep. We also offer individual and team activities to track our sleep and associated mood.

It’s important to note that sleep can be tricky for many people, and during a global pandemic, there may be concerns that go beyond the resources provided above. In that case, your employees may consider getting their primary care provider involved – the support of healthcare professionals can be crucial for those of us who have atypical schedules or chronic trouble sleeping! Outside of the resources above, make sure your employees know how to access their healthcare benefits.

Finding the tools and resources to support your employees and motivate impactful change can be challenging, but Aduro helps take the guesswork out of what to offer.

Learn more about how Aduro’s employee well-being solution supports all aspects of life, including the importance of sleep.