Why is sleep so important?

All in all, we spend about one third of our lives asleep! It is an essential part of our everyday routine and is just as important as eating, drinking and even breathing. Sleep is absolutely crucial for maintaining a good mental and physical health.

Sleep disturbances can be one of the first signs of distress. Common mental health problems like anxiety and depression can often underpin sleep problems. You may find that having a sleep problem can lead you to have negative thoughts and as a result lead to a negative cycle which seems impossible to get out of. Poor sleep leads to worrying. Worrying leads to poor sleep. Worrying about sleep is like your mind trying to fight itself, and that is a horrible place to be.

Recently, I have found myself unable to sleep properly. This has been a big adjustment for myself as I am usually one of the ‘lucky ones’ who is out cold once I hit the pillow. For around 2 weeks now I have been getting into bed at night staring at the ceiling for hours, eventually when I do drift off I wake up again around 4 hours later. This became very frustrating and I got myself into that negative cycle. I would dread going to bed as I knew I would be there for hours attempting to sleep. A big impact of this may be due to the current situation we are all experiencing as I am sure many of you have been finding it more difficult than usual to sleep due to the stress and worry of the uncertainty we are facing.

My lack of sleep eventually started to affect my mood and my attitudes towards anything. I did not feel motivated to do anything and my eyes were constantly irritated during the days because I was so tired. I bought eye drops to attempt to ease the pain, this worked temporarily but I knew nothing would properly change until my sleeping pattern changed.

So, how can you change this negative cycle?

  • Number 1 is routine. Try going to bed and waking up around the same time every day, this prepares your brain and body for going to sleep. I have been getting in bed around 10.30pm every night and waking up around 6.00am every morning. I wake up naturally in the morning, however, I do still struggle to get to sleep at night sometimes.
  • It is also essential to relax before going to bed. There is an app called ‘calm’ this talks you though some breathing exercises you can do and also some meditation and muscle relaxation, which has helped me greatly! All of these things are really good for helping the mind relax before bed and helping you drift off with ease.
  • Another thing you can do is to make sure your surroundings are comfortable, for example, temperature and light can have an impact on your sleep.
  • I have not tried this myself yet but I have read that writing a sleep journal or even just a journal on how you have felt that day to help you wind down before going to sleep helps.
  • Food, drink and exercise can help play a big factor. Exercising during the day can help make your body tired and more inclined to sleep at night and also a reduction in caffeine!

All these little tips have helped me gain more than 4 hours of sleep per night and will hopefully help you ease into a sleep routine and remove that negative cycle of worrying about sleep before you have even got into bed.

People also tend to underestimate the importance of good-quality sleep and many aren’t even aware of what good quality sleep is. The appropriate amount of sleep for an adult is between 7 and 9 hours, meaning that anything over 9 hours can actually be just as bad for you. But what determines the quality of your sleep? A number of things can affect this.

It is essential to remember that your bed should be for sleeping only, try to avoid working in bed or taking your laptop to bed with you. Another major factor is using your phone in bed. The blue light emitted from your screen disrupts natural sleep patterns by affecting your sleep hormone levels. Try to avoid using your laptops and phones for a few hours before bed or set your phone to the yellow tint display which minimises the negative effect on your hormones. Following these steps will allow for a higher quality of sleep.

I hope you have found this blog somewhat helpful and can practice some of the tips I have written here today in order for you to get a good quality sleep and a nice productive morning!

Written by Mollie

Mollie is doing work experience with Thrive Law through Leeds Beckett University as a part of her final year law degree.  She is continuing to support Thrive on the free helpline and with other tasks remotely. 

Anything within this article should not be taken as legal advice. Any information provided will be general advice and for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action. If you wish to obtain specific advice to your situation and your decisions, please contact us and we will thereafter be able to advise.

Related Articles

The superhero firms helping out in the coronavirus crisis

Thrive’s round up of 2018!

Do you need to offer an appeal in redundancy dismissal situations?

Furlough Bonus Scheme: What is it, and What’s the Point?

Unshielding Employees – What are their Rights?

The impact of COVID-19 on students and the new scheme.

Women through the cracks: Sex discrimination

What is a collective redundancy and what are employers’ obligations?

Race Discrimination: What is It, and How Can It Be Prevented?

Update: Spanish Quarantine: What Does This Mean For Employers and Employees?

Indirect Race Discrimination: What is It, and How Can It Be Prevented

Race Discrimination: What is It, and How Can It Be Prevented?

Update: Employment Status. Hairdresser wins landmark case.

Maternity Discrimination and Flexible Furlough

Women Through the Cracks

SSP and Travel

June’s Top 10 FAQ’s

Hill v Lloyds Bank: Discrimination and Mental Health

Pride month – LGBT legal leaders

Test and Trace update

Furlough Fraud

Commission under Furlough

Marital Discrimination: What Happens when Your Employees Split?

Disability & Shielding

Future of Furlough

Returning to work safely following Covid-19

A Four Day Week – Is It The Future?

Utilising Technology for Mental Health Support during Covid-19

#BLACKLIVESMATTER – HR professionals and their role in tackling racism, and what we are doing at Thrive Law

The importance of Redundancy Consultation – the problem with Jamie’s Italian

LGBTQ+ Figures in the Legal Sector

Calculating notice pay for employees on furlough

The Future of Furlough

Test and Trace: Employer’s Obligations

Life in Lockdown: How it has impacted the #ThriveTribe

Life in Lockdown: The Distressing Rise in Domestic Abuse and How Employers Can Help

Life in Lockdown: The Impact of Grief and Employees’ Rights

Managing my Mental Health as a Mother

Life in Lockdown: NHS Staff and Possible PTSD After COVID-19

Health Care Workers and PPE Concerns: What are Their Duties and How Are They Protected?

The effect of lockdown on diversity in the workplace

Observing Ramadan during Lockdown

Emergency Volunteering Leave

Dealing with redundancy during COVID-19

Health and safety dismissals: An employee’s right to stay safe during a pandemic

Unfurloughing employees

Sleep and mental health

Raising concerns amid Covid-19: Are Employees Protected?

Maintaining your teams Mental Wellbeing (whilst working from home/Furlough)

Workplace Safety: 10 Important Steps to Making Your Workplace Safer for Employees

Airline crew launch “Project Wingman”

Statutory Sick Pay and Coronavirus

Why is sleep so important?

Pregnancy, Maternity and Furlough

Flexible working – is it possible in a law firm?

What are the Signs of Stress?

Statutory Duties owed by a Director of a Company; and How Do They Work with Furlough?

A barristers analysis of holiday pay and furlough

Coronavirus and Apprenticeships

Furlough and Annual Leave: How does it work?

Vulnerable and shielded employees; what are your rights?

The Coronavirus Act 2020

Workplace Accessibility: Is your workplace accessible to people with disabilities?

Coronavirus – FAQ’s

In the News: Coronavirus Employer obligations

UK in Lockdown – What You Need to Know

The F Word – Furlough

Short Time and Layoffs

School Closures

The Impact of Coronavirus on Employment – The Home Working Revolution

How to Prepare for a Remote Workforce

Coronavirus is contagious, but panic is too

What are the different types of Whistleblowing?

The Coronavirus and Flexible Working – What Your Organisation Can Do

Key Employment Law Changes in 2020

IR35 Changes – What do you need to know?

In the Media: Fairhall v University Hospital of North Tees & Hartlepool Foundation Trust

There’s a Storm Coming: Do You Have an Adverse Weather Policy for Employees?

May Bank Holiday Change Blog- All Change for 2020!

LGBT+ History Month

Can you sack someone who works in a supermarket and refuses to handle money?

In The News: Bereavement Leave

The Thrive Tribe’s Christmas Holiday

In The News: Discrimination and Equal Pay

Keep Informed: Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like Brexit – What will the Withdrawal Bill Mean for Employment Rights?

Bring Your Dog to Work – For More Than Just a Day?

In the News: Hangover Days

Political Discourse and Voting at Work: What are Employees’ Rights?

Vegetarianism & Veganism – Are they protected as Philosophical Beliefs?

Diversity: More than just Box-Ticking and Policies

Drugs and Alcohol Policy: Support or Discipline?

Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace

Yorkshire Legal Awards: Diversity and Inclusion Award

Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business: Social Mobility Award

Topic UK Magazine October 2019

Calling Time on the Booze Culture

Mental health discrimination is limiting the opportunities in the workplace for those who have served in the armed forces

How to Thrive – Top tips to reduce stress in your organisation

Asda’s Employment Contract Changes: Fair or Foolish?

Keep Informed: MacDonald’s CEO dismissed for relationship at work

How to Handle Allergies in the Workplace

Menopause in the Workplace

The 4 Day Week Report

Feeling SAD?

Keep Informed: New case criticises workplace “banter” and awards £54,000 for race and sexual orientation discrimination

Surviving or Thriving?

Keep Informed: Women and Equalities Committee proposes changes to enforcement of discrimination rights

The Good Work Plan

Working 9 to 5, 4 Days a Week…?

Is your organisation ready for Generation Z?

Thriving In The Workplace and the #OneMind Petition

Dyslexia in the Workplace

Overpayments and Deductions from wages

The UK’s increasingly diabetic workforce

TheBusinessDesk: Further expansion for law firm; Promotions at engineering specialist; and more

LGBTQIA+ in the Workplace

Eid in the Workplace

Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Magazine – 11th April 2019

Recruiting Times – 12th February 2019 Employment contracts: What to check for before accepting the job

HR News – 6th February 2019 Over half of working Brits have accepted a job offer without checking the contract first.

Yorkshire Legal News – Thrive Law continues rapid growth – 12th November 2018

BR Online: Employee wellbeing and human capital – November 2018

MMB Magazine – 5 November 2018

The Telegraph- Business 24 October 2018

H & N Magazine 3 October 2018

South Leeds Life 3 October 2018

The Yorkshire Post 10 October 2018

Article in People Management- “Employers must do more to tackle male ‘stigma’ around shared parental leave” – 30th July

The Business Desk- “Independent law firm launches in Yorkshire”– July 16th

Interview with Ascension Club Leeds- July 11th

Law Society Gazette – 3rd May 2018

Stylist Magazine – 21st May

Yorkshire Post – 2 May 2018 – Greg Wright The Case for introducing mental health first aiders at work

What Is YOUR Workplace Doing for Ramadan?

April Updates in Employment Law

Thoughts On “Gagging Orders”

Time to Talk Day 2019

The Loneliness Epidemic

To talk or not to talk?

Why employers should exercise caution when using NDAs

Being your true self at work boosts mental wellbeing and performance

How to spot and eliminate risks of office workplace accidents

Why The Best Investment Is In Your Mental Health

Supporting LGBT+ Mental Health in the Workplace

What your employer needs to know when your child has a mental health illness – guest blog

The Do’s And Don’t For A Happy Employee – Guest Blog

HR leading the way into GDPR compliance for businesses

Dealing with stress in the workplace

Welcome to our new website and blog!