A recent three-year study based on Australian workers, showed the association between poor sleep quality and quantity with higher “presenteeism” – the state of reduced productivity even though present. The study, released by the Resilience Institute followed 16,000 people in 250 organizations and 43.3 per cent of respondents ranked high on questions relating to tiredness and fatigue.
“Sleep and rest are vital to our health and wellbeing,” says Stuart Taylor, founder of the Resilience Institute. “A lack of sleep can show up in a variety of ways. Co-ordination, attention, decision-making and impulse control all suffer, while cardiovascular risk, blood pressure, metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes, and immune system dysfunction increase.”
Artificial light, heating, electronics and sleep debt are among the factors disrupting our body clocks. “Our circadian rhythm is a 24.5-hour cycle built into our suprachiasmatic nucleus. Sitting just behind the eyes, this clock is regulated by light, particularly requiring the blue light in the early hours of the day to effectively reset. When we wake our body temperature rises, cortisol is released, blood pressure rises, testosterone peaks and we are alert, co-ordinated and effective. During the day we build up adenosine, which in high levels increases our propensity for sleep. The longer we are alert, the deeper our delta-wave sleep. After 7pm our body temperature drops, at 9pm melatonin secretion begins and we drop into a deep sleep somewhere between 10pm and 2am. Growth hormone is active during this stage, facilitating repair, growth and immunity.”
REM sleep is essential to memory and emotional intelligence, according to Taylor, but a good night’s sleep also rejuvenates our cells, builds muscle and repairs the brain.
Here are some tips for a good night’s sleep.
• Commit to a regular wake-up time. Rise at dawn, if possible.
• Get vigorous exercise early in the day
• Power-nap for 15 minutes after lunch
• Avoid caffeine after 2pm
• Have an early and light evening meal
• Limit alcohol and protein intake
• Ditch TV, laptops and gadgets after 7pm (or two hours before bedtime)
• Cool, darken, quieten your bedroom
• Make your bedroom an electronic-free zone
• Develop a relaxation routine before sleep
• Discharge sleep debt by going to bed early, rather than sleeping in
• Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night
“Quietude, rest, sleep, careful diet, cheerful surroundings, and plenty of sleep will be essential.” Manuscript Release, Vol 18, page 212
“Those who are employed to write and to speak the Word should attend fewer committee meetings. They should entrust many minor matters to men of business ability, and thus avoid being kept on a constant strain that robs the mind of its natural vigor. They should give far more attention to the preservation of physical health; for vigor of mind depends largely upon vigor of body. Proper periods of sleep and rest and an abundance of physical exercise are essential to health of body and mind. To rob nature of her hours for rest and recuperation, by allowing one man to do the work of four, or of three, or even of two, will result in irreparable loss.” Gospel Workers, page 422
Nature Knows Best!