Wellbeing equals productivity as NG displays forward thinking at exclusive lunch event
17th February 2020
Sacrificing sleep in the name of productivity is a false economy – that was the message from Pete Edwards, guest speaker at TheBusinessDesk.com’s latest Sleep and Wellbeing Networking Lunch sponsored by NG Chartered Surveyors.
Guests assembled at Baresca in Nottingham on Thursday 30 January to hear the Nottingham Panthers strength and conditioning coach discuss how sleep – or lack of it – can impact your performance at work.
Introducing the event, Richard Sutton, managing director at NG said: “Once again we’re delighted to support Pete Edwards from Edwards Performance.
“A healthy workplace is vital for us at NG. If we’re not feeling good then we can’t give the best service to our clients, and so wellbeing is something we take very seriously. We don’t believe in keeping our staff in the office until 9pm to get a job done. “
“We have adjusted the office working week to start earlier and wherever we can close on Friday afternoons. To start with it was something of a leap of faith but very quickly we could see massive benefits in terms of productivity. Our team come in on Monday morning fully-refreshed, having had time to properly unwind ready to be as productive as we know they can be.”
Pete then offered some eye-opening and occasionally frightening insights into the damaging effects of sleep deprivation, before imparting some invaluable advice on how to get more, and better sleep.
Pete, who operates his business Edwards Performance out of Gothic House in Nottingham’s Lace Market, said: “There is no tissue or organ in the body that isn’t massively affected by sleep.
“Moreover, information is only transferred to our long-term memories during sleep. The worse you sleep, the worse you become at learning. The problem is most people don’t know when they’re sleep deprived.”
Pete added that sleep deprivation – a problem all too familiar to many – can seriously compromise our physical health.
He said: “Sleep deprivation has a big impact on the cardiovascular system. Statistically, there are more recorded heart attacks on daylight saving day when we lose an hour than on any other day of the year. Lack of sleep also has a big impact on our metabolic health, which encompasses body weight, blood sugar control and so on. When you sleep less your hunger hormone levels increase. Sleep is the first thing I address with clients who are looking to lose weight.”
But to what extent does lack of sleep affect our work performance? According to Edwards, there is a “clear correlation” between sleep and our ability to perform.
He said: “Many people sacrifice sleep in the name of productivity, but this is very much a false economy. You will find yourself cherry-picking easy tasks like answering emails, and the time you take to complete each task will increase. Your personal and professional relationships are also likely to suffer.
“If you sleep just 6 hours a night or less over seven days you will be as impaired as much as if you’d stayed up for 24 hours.”
Given these alarming statistics, what can we do to get more sleep? Luckily, said Pete, 80-90 per cent of sleep disorders are behavioural, “so almost all of them can be corrected.”
He said: “Sleep hygiene can be improved by taking a few simple steps.
“First, your room should be pitch black because the skin can actually see light. You also need to keep the temperature cool and make sure you avoid blue light before you go to bed. I would recommend getting ready for bed earlier as well.
“Don’t look at the clock during the night as it has a horrendous effect on your brain’s ability to sleep, and have a wake-up time instead of a bed time – it’s much better for your circadian rhythms.
“Finally, 80-90 per cent of the population are deficient in magnesium, which is vital for proper sleep, so taking supplements can be a big help – just don’t take too much in one go!”