Do you hardly get any sleep no matter how tired you are?
Do you wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours, keep rolling in your bed, anxiously waiting for time to pass?
It is very common we have trouble sleeping at one time or another. Usually it’s due to stress, travel, illness, sadness, or other temporary interruptions to your normal routine. But if sleep problems occur regularly, you may be suffering from Insomnia. Lack of sleep takes a toll on your energy, mood, and ability to function during the day. But you don’t have to resign yourself to sleepless nights. Addressing the underlying causes and making changes to your lifestyle, daily habits, and sleep environment can help to overcome sleep disorder and enjoy good night’s sleep again.
One of the problems could be that when a person works at night, the light exposure suppresses melatonin which is normally secreted at night. People who work night shifts or rotating shifts also often don’t sleep enough, and long-term sleep deprivation is known to be bad for health. Shift work also disrupts the body’s circadian rhythms and causes them to become out of sync with the external environment and/or behavioral cycles.
Through the Employee Assistance Programme, seeing a psychologist can help your employees address sleep problems. Psychologists can help people change their behaviors and manage the thoughts, feelings and emotions that can interfere with a healthy night’s sleep. Our licensed and experienced psychologists have the professional training and skills to treat individuals suffering from depression and anxiety, which have been linked to sleep problems like insomnia.
In working with a psychologist in your company, you can expect to talk about – overall physical and emotional health, and health beliefs and behaviors. A psychologist will help your employee identify any underlying stressors and behaviors that may be interfering with your employees’ sleep.
A psychologist may ask your employees to keep a sleep diary with information about their routines and behaviors. This can help the psychologist identify patterns of behavior that might be interfering with sleep. For instance, if they have a habit of exercising at night or watching television in bed, the psychologist can help them take a look at how their routines impair sleep, and help them find alternatives. The psychologist may also teach them several resilience and relaxation techniques to help you learn to quiet their mind and unwind before bed.
For the most part, sleeping involves a routine, so it makes sense that there are things you can do in your daily and nightly routines to improve your sleep quality. Along with consulting our psychologists, you might want to incorporate some of the following tips.
1. Make Adjustments to Maximize Sleep
- Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco products during the day, especially in the hours before sleep.
- Finish eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, avoiding big meals.
- Exercise regularly. Finish your exercise a few hours before bedtime.
- Eliminate napping or limit the duration to 20 to 30 minutes.
- Avoid fatty and spicy foods at the evening meal. They can cause heartburn which can keep you awake or wake you up too soon.
2. Create the Best Possible Sleep Environment
- Remove electronics like computers and televisions from your room.
- Keep the room cool, comfortable, quiet, and dark.
- Use a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Use the bed only for sleep and intimacy.
3. Prepare for Sleep
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine: take a bath, read a book, listen to relaxing music before bed or try having a cup of Chamomile tea.
- Simple breathing exercises can help. Breathe, using your abdomen not your chest, through your nose for three seconds, then breathe out for three seconds. Practice this for about five to ten minutes in the later evening.
- Don’t watch the clock – it can cause anxiety about sleep.
- Get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes. Only spend time in bed when you are actually sleeping.
- Clear your mind – if you experience worries that are hard to shut off, spend some time earlier in the evening writing in a journal.
- Try using a progressive relaxation CD that is specifically used for helping people fall asleep. CDs are available through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Our EAP counselor can help you determine the best CD for your situation.
For more information, contact us through:
Tel +603 – 2727 7434