Article: Breaking the cycle of "always on" culture and reclaiming your sleep

Other employee benefits

Breaking the cycle of "always on" culture and reclaiming your sleep

For employees, breaking free from the "Always On" culture is crucial for enhancing sleep quality and overall wellbeing.
Breaking the cycle of "always on" culture and reclaiming your sleep

There is an immense amount of pressure to be available and responsive at all times in today's fast-paced world, due to the dominant "always-on" culture. The widespread usage of digital technology has contributed to a culture where work and personal life are no longer clearly defined, which has negative effects on our health in general and the QUALITY OF OUR SLEEP in particular. 

The widespread grip of this phenomenon is highlighted by the fact that nearly 70% of professionals, according to recent studies, find themselves glued to their work emails well beyond traditional office hours. Furthermore, 50% of millennials associate work-life imbalance with mental health issues and 87% of young Indians who experience job-related stress would approve of improved work-life balance policies. The combination of this constant connectivity with the global crisis of stress and health problems highlights the critical importance of rethinking our connection to technology and making time for rest and mental wellness a top priority.

Breaking free from the 'always-on' cycle requires a contributed effort to prioritise sleep and establish healthy boundaries. To get back some sleep and escape from your constant connection, here are some useful suggestions:

Free your mind & wind down Creating a calming bedtime routine is essential for preparing your body and mind for rest. To lessen the effect of blue light on your sleep-wake cycle and lessen exposure to stimulating content, try turning off all electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime. Engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as yoga, meditation, or reading. Choose a mattress which will provide the necessary support to your body posture and thus enable a good night’s sleep. By sending the message to your body that it's time to relax, these practices facilitate the process of entering a state of deep sleep. 

Set your body clock and stick to a routine: Establishing a consistent sleep schedule is crucial for regulating your body's internal clock, known as the ‘circadian rhythm.’ Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including weekends, supports your body's natural sleep-wake cycle. This consistency helps improve sleep quality by ensuring that you get enough peaceful sleep each night. Over time, sticking to a routine can make it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

Avoid working overtime & set boundaries: Setting boundaries between work and personal time is key for protecting wellbeing and sleep quality. Communicate availability, prioritise tasks, and resist the temptation to work beyond designated hours. Prolonged exposure to work-related stress increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. WHO research indicates that working over 55 hours per week correlates with a 35% higher stroke risk and a 17% higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease compared to a 35–40-hour work week. Prioritise health by setting boundaries to mitigate the negative impact of stress on sleep and overall wellbeing.

Avoid consuming excessive tea/coffee: Caffeine is a stimulant that can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, especially if consumed close to bedtime. Be mindful of your caffeine intake, particularly in the afternoon and evening. Setting a deadline for your last cup of tea or coffee can help prevent its disruptive effects on your sleep. Opt for decaffeinated beverages or herbal teas instead, which are less likely to affect your sleep quality.

If work-related stress is taking a toll on your sleep quality or contributing to insomnia, don't hesitate to seek support from a professional counsellor or therapist. Talking to a trained professional can provide valuable insights into coping strategies and help address the root causes impacting your sleep. Remember, seeking support is a proactive step towards prioritising your mental health and wellbeing.

In a nutshell, breaking free from the 'always-on' culture is essential for reclaiming your sleep and preserving your overall wellbeing. By implementing these simple yet effective strategies to disconnect from work, establish healthy sleep habits, and seek support when needed, you can break the cycle of constant connectivity and prioritise your sleep. 

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Topics: Other employee benefits, #Wellbeing

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