Australia’s leading wellbeing expert and consultant at EQ Consulting, Chelsea Pottenger has today announced research findings revealing that 40% of Australians are getting less than six hours sleep a night.
Pottenger, an ambassador for R U OK? and a world expert in delivering cognitive tools to recharge the human brain began to notice the alarming statistics in those she was training. This then became a survey of over 100,000 participants.
One factor is that 81% of people are wearing the wrong clothing or too many clothes in bed.
Sleep Hack One – Keep your socks on
Bin the pyjamas, it’s the socks that count.
Chelsea Pottenger comments, “Your brain needs to drop its temperature by a few degrees to initiate sleep and pyjamas keep you warm rather than cool you down. By removing them and simply keeping your socks on, you will coax the blood away from your core and thermal dump the heat required for a good night’s shut-eye.”
Sleep Hack Two – Turn Screens Off
A staggering 83% of Australians are ‘Melatonin Vampires’, looking at their phone or watching a screen in the 30 minutes before bed. This exposure to light before bed is pushing their biological clock in the wrong direction and affecting their melatonin production.
Shift work also impacts the body’s circadian rhythm and can lead to serious health issues. Insufficient sleep is linked to cancer of the bowel, prostate and breast cancer. The association between the two has become so powerful that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified any form of night shift work as a probable carcinogen.
Sleep Hack Three – Two standard drinks only
Avoid taking the edge off a long day with a drink. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, yet is more likely to disrupt sleep than caffeine or nicotine. People metabolise alcohol at the rate of one drink per hour but the withdrawal effects persist for another two to four hours, which is when people often feel restless. More than two standard drinks will interrupt deep REM sleep.
Sleep Hack Four – No caffeine after noon
Only 10% of the population can metabolise caffeine before bed, the rest take 4-8 hours for it to be eliminated from their system unless they are extra sensitive and suffer hyper-arousal in which case it is even longer.
HOW IS A LACK OF SLEEP AFFECTING PEOPLE AT WORK?
The Australian economy is losing $17.9 Billion annually in productivity due to sleep deprivation.*
Underslept employees will:
- Take on fewer challenges
- Choose simpler tasks rather than producing high-quality work
- Produce fewer creative ideas and solutions to challenges given to them
- Likely to slack off, social loafing, where they ride the coat tails of other peoples work
AT THE GYM?
Cardiovascular fitness goes down by 30% with less than 6 hours of sleep a night, so your form might be on point but a lack of sleep will undermine your performance.**
- Insufficient sleep across a life span is one of the most significant contributors to Alzheimer’s
- Those surviving on 5-6 hours sleep, eat 200-300 extra calories a day, which equates to 70,000 calories per year and a 10kgs weight gain**
- A rise in anxiety walks hand in hand with insomnia
Estee Lauder research shows that a lack of sleep can accelerate signs of skin ageing with poor quality sleep slowing skin’s natural repair processes.***
- Acceleration of fine lines
- Increased vulnerability to dehydrated skin due to a more damaged moisture barrier
- Uneven skin tone
Chelsea Pottenger is urging Australians to get a good night’s rest as sleep is critical for emotional first aid and mental health. The R U Ok? ambassador today launches the new EQ Sleep 2.0 program, empowering people to make positive changes to their daily life to reduce stress, improve sleep and boost energy. The 28-day online program, curated by Pottenger herself, features tools and resources to improve sleep, how to videos and a selection of downloadable guides to improve sleep hygiene at home or on the move. Collaborators include Frequent flyer Steve Hui from iFLYflat and nutritionist Michele Chevalley Hedge.
Chelsea comments “Winter is an ideal time to address sleep issues, hibernate and recharge the batteries as the shorter days and longer nights aid relaxation. The Sleep EQ Program is designed to help Australians identify what could be causing their insomnia, shift their sleep mindset and adopt personal rituals for a better night time routine.”
For more information, please visit: eqminds.com