PRECIOUS VALUE OF SLEEP

Screenshot_2015-11-18-12-09-06.pngNumerous studies say that a lack of sleep seriously affects work performance. For staff at insurance group Aetna, it pays to get a good night’s sleep. Specifically $300 (£225) a year. US firm’s concern about the impact of sleep deprivation on their employee performance, that it encourages its workers to sign up to a scheme rewards them for getting at least seven hours of shut-eye per night. Aetna staff that participate can earn $25 for every 20 nights in which they sleep seven hours or more, up to a limit of $300 every 12 months. Introduced in 2009, so far about 12,000 of the firm’s 25,000 employees participated last year, an increase from 10,000 in 2014. Staff can either record sleep automatically, using wrist monitor connects to Aetna’s computers, or instead are trusted to manually record how long they have slept every night. Kay Mooney, Aetna’s vice-president of employee benefits, says that the sleep scheme is “one of many different healthy behaviours we wanted staff to track”. The firm’s staff receives extra funds if they do exercise.
Couple sleeping

Ms Mooney adds regarding the sleeping programme, Aetna likes to view itself as a “living laboratory, to see that if this is something effective for the other larger employers as well.” Is concern of some workers pocketing cash without actually getting all the sleep?  “We are not at all worried, it’s on honour system, we trust staff,” she says. Aetna’s commitment ensures the workers get enough sleep comes as a number of studies warn not sleeping long enough can significantly affect our ability to do our job. In the US alone, average worker loses 11.3 working days or $2,280 (£1,700) of productivity per year due to their sleep deprivation, according to a 2011 report by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. It calculates that this adds up to an annual loss of $63.2bn for the US economy. Meanwhile, the 2015 European study by the Rand Corporation said “staff who slept less than 7-8 hours per night, experienced significantly loss of more productivity compared to employees who slept more than 8hours per night on average.” And researchers at University of California San Francisco warned last year not getting enough sleep can make you ill. They found people who sleep less than 6 hours a night are 4 times more likely to catch a cold if exposed to virus.  Arianna Huffington, the founder and boss of news website Huffington Post, is on a crusade to persuade other business leaders to get enough sleep. She says that until 2007 she was a textbook example of a go-getting boss who was trying to survive on very little sleep – often just three hours a night. Until one day she passed out in the office as a result of exhaustion.

Arianna Huffington

Ms Huffington, who had been working 18-hour days, woke up with a broken jaw and covered in blood from a cut above her eye. She tells the BBC: “For many years I subscribed to a flawed definition of success, buying into our collective delusion burnout is the necessary price we must pay for success.“In terms of the traditional measures of success, which focuses on money and power, I was very successful.“I was not living a successful life by any sane definition of success. I knew something had to radically change, I could not go on that way. Continued Ms Huffington committed herself to getting at least 8 hours sleep a night, installing blackout curtains, and ensuring that her digital devices far from her bedroom. So transformed her life, greatly improved her ability at work. Ms Huffington is so evangelical about the need for people to get more sleep that earlier this year she released a best-selling book on subject – The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time.the-smart-mattress-cover-that-helps-you-sleep-better-136396484947203901-150226181421.jpg“The business world is waking up to high cost of sleep deprivation productivity, healthcare, ultimately, the bottom line,” she says. Jennifer Evans, co-founder of Canadian marketing business Squeeze CMM, admits that she still doesn’t get enough sleep, despite the problems this can sometimes cause. The 46-year-old Toronto-based entrepreneur says that when she is tired “decision making is tougher… I have made some awesomely bad decisions when sleep deprived.” Yet often she has too much work to do to allow her to get an early night. Business decisions are better made in a healthy mind office environment. Gadgets make it harder to switch off mind even if one knows must ideally get more sleep. Temptation for a quick sneak peak of just one more thing drifts into hours lost in thought unaware of time passing. At times surprised by a bright morning sunshine indicating sleepless night and getting up to work regardless. Feeling drained or exhausted phones in sick hence inconsistent work schedule. The boss complains of lack of focus attention to details, mistakes. Compounded by the undergirded residues of previous alcohol trait in the bloodstream it all adds up to stimulate a mind to stay awake causing system out of control pattern so repeats itself phone friends to let them know in advance if not visiting. IT IS IMPORTANT TO LOOK AFTER ONESELF FIRST AS GOD SAID LOVE OTHERS AS YOU LOVE FIRST YOURSELF. NOT NEGLECT YOURSELF TO LET POLITENESS OVERRIDE WISDOM OR GUT FEELING COMMON SENSE. Drastic measures required to break an unhealthy cycle of Monday to Friday night meet up for drink. That can be relegated to once at weekend Friday Night Only to catch up on lost sleep on Saturday. Rest well and prepare for work from Sunday choosing clothes to wear, shoes neatly laid aside. Check bag, contents, ensure documents, notebook, pen, paper, reports, phone, sandwiches made, keys ready for office etc. Give enough time for an anticipated delay of traffic jams, weather conditions. Motto: Always AHEAD OF TIME at least 15 minutes, read, have hot drink to pick up mood for day. Do not become modern technology victim overwhelmed or spoilt for choice, too much overload distraction so unable to sleep. God’s inbuilt purpose sleep mechanism is to do you good that is reason but 24/7 electricity electronics changed work and rest patterns. To sleep 8 hours is human right so enjoy sleeping without a guilt of unfinished business.sleep.jpgI once slept so deeply in boarding school all rushed in to see if I was alright. After Saturday night entertainment turned out they put the smallest person through a bathroom window to unlock front door to let everyone in. Still unaware, it was one person who asked what happened to me last night, and narrated this incident to me. For some reason can really sleep deep because learnt to sleep early and enjoyed sleeping to restore my body for repair as God planned to refresh for next day. Although almost comatose  deep sleep in college dorm is not how to sleep I am working on learning to sleep light if necessary with alarm clocks set. Back up support set in place to check up on me if not awake by scheduled time if need arises not to happen again. By contrast, US businesswoman Sabrina Parsons says she has valued getting a good night’s sleep for years, realising that it greatly improves her productivity. “When I’m tired I’m not quick on my mental game,” says the 42-year-old boss of Palo Alto Software, which is based in Eugene, Oregon. She adds that even simple tasks such as answering emails can be arduous if she is too tired. Everyone’s body metabolism is different so some people can thrive on minimum  sleep. Others cannot cope because it causes fogged head blurred thinking as the body is awake but the mind asleep.7b3753cc4f39d8520acff0678a86f53b.jpgAlmighty God Rested on 7th day so it is not laziness to take good personal care of body to relax and sleep well. You know yourself best so be kind enough to look after yourself not joining in all activities of owl friends who seem fine despite late nights. You are not seen in bad light if you explain sleep apnea affects your petformance. Some function well despite staying up late. Others have the effects of late nights intruding in work such as headaches, disorientation, lack of focus, tiredness due to lack of sleep. As more business leaders recognise the problems caused by lack of sleep, an industry has grown up to help tackle the issue. Els van der Helm an Amsterdam-based sleep adviser who has worked with the numerous bosses of global companies. “Sleep is essential to coming up with creative solutions, calmly seeing insight into processes, putting things together intelligently,” she says. Ms van der Helm adds without enough sleep the people “lose their ability to judge their own performance.” What about those individuals who seem to be able to cope perfectly well with little sleep? Such as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who was said to need 4 hours sleep a night. Ying-Hui Fu, professor of neurology at University of California, San Francisco, says there may be genetic reason. She says she and her team have discovered a rare gene allows someone to be productive on 5 or 5 hours of sleep a night. The gene is said to be active in one in every 1,000 people. “You can not make yourself a short sleeper,” says Dr Fu. “You either have the gene or you do not.” So to be safe than sorry do sleep and take cat nap breaks on long distance journeys if driving. Plan resting time in between journey to refresh yourself to be more alert and eat properly, drink plenty of water to hydrate the body. Above all, sleep, sleep, sleep you are not lazy just wisely taking care of your precious body.

 

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