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May 6, 2022
How to improve your sleep
Gone are the days of people boasting about how they survive on just a few hours’ sleep a night – at least I really hope they’re gone. It used to be some kind of macho badge of honour that a person claimed not to need much sleep. Now, we know that a lack of sleep has serious health consequences.
According to the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley (and he should know), a lack of sleep is associated with an increased chance of having high blood pressure, a heart attack, and/or a stroke. And here’s one for those macho attitudes; inadequate sleep, even for a few nights, will ‘age’ a man by over a decade in terms of hormonal virility.
Even at a less serious level, a lack of sleep affects our ability to ward off colds and flu. People who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are nearly three times more likely to become infected by a cold.
I hope I’ve now convinced you that sleep matters – if you didn’t already know. However, I’m also aware that the science about the harm lack of sleep can do, could make you so anxious that you’re having trouble sleeping! That’s no place to leave things …
Coaching that has been proven to improve sleep
It may seem strange that a leadership consultancy is so interested in sleep but let me explain the link. We take a holistic approach to coaching development. First, we start with an understanding of what drives performance and that starts deep within us – with our physiology. Then we measure the impact of coaching in four ways:
– Work factors determine how individuals respond to pressure (by engaging or disengaging with their work). This is determined by …
– Psychological factors, which concern whether someone feels calm, in control, and not unduly stressed
– Physical factors such as fatigue, health, heart rate variability (HRV) and sleep quality modulate an individual’s psychological state and, finally,
– Emotional factors, which are a person’s ability to actively regulate their emotions
There is a strong relationship between these four factors. To drive improvements in work factors – such as motivation, engagement and our ability to cope with work pressures – we must start with improvements in emotional management. Emotional management improves physical factors, like sleep, and our psychological state too.
A Complete analysis of the impact of this holistic coaching approach has shown a 12% improvement in sleep quality, among many other benefits.
The benefits are not just restricted to better sleep, our study also revealed:
– 54% reduction in stress
– 25% reduction in fatigue
– 22% reduction in anxiety
Read more about the impact of Complete coaching. And ask us about coaching packages … Not just if you’re looking to improve your sleep, but also if you want to reduce your stress, increase your energy levels and improve your performance at work.
A physician and neuroscientist, Dr. Alan Watkins is recognised as an international expert on leadership and human performance.
Over the years he has coached thousands of individuals to greater levels of performance, transformed organisational cultures and helped leaders discover new ways to succeed. Alan has become a confidant to many of the world’s top leaders over the past 22 years.Read bio