After the success of his last talk on how to best fuel our bodies for the working day, Dr. Briffa was back at MVF by popular demand to talk about another vital part of our well being - sleep. Many of us struggle to get the quantity and quality of sleep we feel we need and often feel tired during work hours. Fortunately, Dr. Briffa was on hand to give us some great practical tips and insights into how we can ensure we get the best sleep possible and improve our productivity at work.
The Importance of Sleep
Briffa explained how not getting enough REM sleep can have a massively detrimental effect on mood, will power, brain function and performance, often causing people to make silly mistakes and feel that even the smallest tasks require herculean effort. In order to avoid this state of unproductive exhaustion Briffa suggested many ways in which we can sleep better.
He explained that there is a strong relationship between light and sleep and that getting light in the daytime promotes good sleep but using blue light emitting devices such as laptops and smartphones in the evening lowers melatonin levels and can lead to a much lower quality of sleep. He also advised us to catch up on ‘sleep debt’ as soon as possible - going to bed an hour earlier when tired can dramatically improve your performance the next day.
‘Tired and Wired’?
Briffa acknowledged that many can find it hard to switch off before bed and are often too distracted by thoughts of the coming days or weeks to properly relax. To combat this ‘tired and wired’ stage, Briffa recommends emptying the mind as much as possible before bed. Writing to-do lists, relaxing the mind with audio books or simply breathing more deeply have proved to be extremely useful techniques in preparing the mind and body for sleep.
Sophia Patsikas, who attended that talk said “I’m a self-confessed serial snoozer, but I didn’t realise quite how much this was affecting the quality of my sleep until Dr. Briffa explained the science behind sleep debt and REM cycles, I’m definitely going to try to get to bed earlier and limit the snoozes going forward.” Another attendee, Rachel Thompson, commented, “I often feel tired all day and then as soon as my head hits the pillow, I feel wide awake! Hopefully the blue light reducing phone apps and to-do lists before bed that Briffa suggested will really help me feel more rested.”
Thanks to Dr. Briffa we’re ahead of the game for Sleep Awareness Week this week (23-29 April) and are already feeling the benefits of the super sleep tips that he gave us. A good night’s sleep can really make or break your day, so if productivity is a priority do use these techniques to #SleepBetterFeelBetter.