Workplace Wednesday: Better Sleep for Better Work DaysJune 9, 2021
In this week’s Workplace Wednesday, we explore the skill of paying attention to your sleep routine.
Every single night of your entire life you lie down, shut your eyes, and fade away into sleep. For some of us, this isn’t easy – getting to the moment of letting go and falling asleep can be frustrating.
Work stress and sleep challenges can often form a self-fulfilling vicious cycle. You can’t sleep because you are ruminating about work issues, which leads to cognitive challenges the next day – like lack of focus, difficulty concentrating, emotionally reactive state of mind, leading to more work stress.
It’s clear that sleep is important for your well-being, but it’s easy to forget to pay much attention to everything that leads up to that moment when we fall asleep. To put a stop to your sleep-work-stress cycle, it may be time to explore your sleep routine. Here’s how:
- Step One: Get reflective and ask yourself how you prepare for a good night’s sleep. Are there things that put your body and mind in a calm state in the hour or so before you go to bed? Or things that make your brain think you’re still in active mode? Start paying attention to what you’re doing in the hours leading up to bedtime and explore how all these things affect your sleep. You can even keep a sleep journal and see what patterns emerge.
- Step two: Notice the details of falling asleep. Do you feel the bed supporting you? Your body growing more and more relaxed? Or maybe you’re restless, and toss and turn a lot. What is going on in your mind? What thoughts and images are moving through your brain? Just notice all of this.
- Step three: Review the patterns and make changes. Maybe you’ve kept your journal for a while and patterns are beginning to emerge. For example, do you notice you have trouble letting the work day go and this keeps you up? What well-being supports can you develop to leave work out of sleep? Maybe try a mindfulness meditation before bed and notice if there is a difference. Then repeat.
You may not solve your work-stress related insomnia overnight, but becoming aware and breaking down the details of your sleep habits can be the first step.
Learn more about how the Healthy Minds Framework can support your workplace well-being with Healthy Minds @Work or join our intensive public MasterClass to learn the Healthy Minds Framework for Well-Being on your time.