The sleep-friendly workplace challenge

By Emily Barker

1. Day One: Curb the caffeine

Did you know that caffeine has a half-life of five to six hours? This means it stays in your system long after you took your last sip. If your workplace is coffee-mad or tea-crazy, make sure to offer some non-caffeinated alternatives.

2. Day Two: Block the blue light

If people are often using their mobile phones or tablets, get them to set up a blue light filter on their devices. Blue light, which is emitted by screens such as mobiles and tablets, can disrupt your melatonin production - the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake rhythm.

3. Day Three: Let the sunshine in

Did you know that going outside in the sun for just 30 minutes a day can improve sleep? If your office is lacking in natural light or people spend all day chained to their desks, the chances are they will feel groggy and unable to sleep.

4. Day Four: Ban late-night emails

Expecting employees to be on top of their emails or be on call 24/7 will only lead to stressed out people who probably don’t get a lot of shut eye. Make sure people are allowed to ‘switch off’ outside of work hours, and they will likely be much more alert during the day.

5. Day Five: Larks or night owls?

How many of your team are early birds and how many prefer a late start? There’s no judgement here, only 20% of the population are early birds, You may find that most of your staff are their worst in the morning and a change in work schedule could do wonders in upping productivity.

6 Day Six: Talk about sleep

Lack of sleep has all sorts of ramifications, it can cause stress, anxiety and even lead to depression. Allowing employees to feel like they can come to you and talk about their sleep problems will give those struggling peace of mind.

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