According to a recent study, half of UK workers lose over 9 hours sleep per week, worrying about work.
The National Sleep Foundation explains that waking coupled with the inability to fall back to sleep from worry or anxiety is known as “maintenance insomnia”.
So what is all this worry and anxiety about? Shouldn’t work be enjoyable, interesting… fun even for heaven’s sake? We spend most of our lives there so if we’re not enjoying it, maybe it’s time to search for a new job. Let’s look into this and get to the root of the matter…
Printed in the Independent recently were the sleep stats, we share these with you here:
Worries of being late for work – 13%
Fear of being sacked – 10%
Anxiety over upcoming projects – 8%
‘Showing up to work naked’ nightmares – 7%
What has been noted is that our dreams are a way of our brains to make sense of an issue. If we’re feeling insecure or unhappy about something, this could well spill over into our sleep and disrupt our night time routine.
“We actually awaken briefly several times across the night without full awareness, because the brain is always processing information. Stress, worry, and anxiety can make us more susceptible to fully perceive these awakenings — just like we’d be more likely to be aware of increased awakenings if the bedroom was too hot or cold, too noisy, or if we had an ache or pain.”
–Rebecca Q. Scott, Ph.D., is board-certified in sleep disorders medicine by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. She sees patients in private practice on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and at NYU Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy-Sleep Center.
-If thoughts are keeping you awake – make a note on your phone or on a piece of paper, and then go back to sleep.
-If you’re awake for more than 15 minutes, experts advise that you get up for 10 minutes and do something you find relaxing, experts also suggest something practical as well as mindful, e.g. a jigsaw or drawing. The latter is said to help disassociate mentally linking your bed with being awake. So if you wake, it’s advised to get out of bed totally.
-There are many mindful apps available to help us get back to our slumber. Some with a timer, some to play ongoing until you fall back to sleep, some until you feel sleepy enough, that you can then switch off.
-If you still can’t sleep, try a pair of warm socks or gloves. A Swiss study reveals that warm feet can bring on rapid sleep in all of us.
According to the journals of psychological science writing worries down on paper and physically throwing them away can help us to feel better and overcome anxieties and sleep deprivation.
This may seem ridiculous but when you think about it tangibly, it works very well.
Usually what we worry about, is not what someone else is worrying about. You may be worrying all on your own for no good reason! It tends to be the case that we hold ourselves to a higher standard than that which is expected of us. All of this extra pressure will take it’s toll on us mentally. Try to ask yourself, why am I worried about this? Or How would it feel if I wasn’t that bothered about it? If we can create the worry then we can dismiss it all the same.
We may all need to work but we also all need to enjoy our lives. If your job isn’t giving you that satisfaction it may be time to tell someone in your company about this (just because you feel this way doesn’t mean others will know about it); ultimately if things don’t change, then, as they say, discomfort can lead to growth. Seize this opportunity, seek out pastures new that will play a part in making your dreams come true.