Recent data from CV-Library has found that over two thirds (68.8%) of workers in the care industry admit that having a bad night’s sleep negatively impacts their working day. What’s more, a further 22.9% claim that they feel exhausted on a daily basis. Unsurprisingly, these can have negative implications for both care workers and their employers.
Sleep is a vital part of our wellbeing. As such, below, we’ll discuss the importance of looking after your staff, and how both employers and employees can combat issues of tiredness in the workplace.
Why is sleep so important?
While the majority of workers in the sector (50%) would like to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, currently only 25% are actually achieving this. This is concerning news given that 57.4% of carers said sleep deprivation affects their ability to concentrate, as well as their ability to deal with challenging situations.
It’s clear that fatigue can negatively impact staff and their ability to do their job. This is particularly worrying in industries such as social and health care, as staff are required not only to look after themselves, but the wellbeing of others as well.
What is causing carers to feel this way?
In today’s society there are many reasons why sleep may be eluding care professionals. That said, over three quarters (77.8%) cited workplace stress as the key cause for their disrupted sleep. Unfortunately, this is also a catch 22. Not sleeping due to stress at work isn’t going to make working the next day any easier. And so on and so forth. What’s more, 30.8% said that continual over-thinking is keeping them awake at night.
What can employees do?
Sometimes work-related stresses can be out of our hands. But, there are a few small steps that employees can take to aid a good night’s sleep. Firstly, try to avoid having caffeinated drinks too late on in the day. It may seem difficult, especially if you’re working into the evening and looking for a pick-me-up to get you through. But, it really will make a difference in the long run.
Not only this, but adopting a good work-life balance is key. Sometimes overtime may be required, but remember: it’s called ‘overtime’ not ‘all-the-time’. Try to avoid taking work calls or thinking about patients when you’re at home unless it’s completely necessary. For your own wellbeing it’s important that you are able to separate your work life from your home life most of the time.
What should employers do?
It’s vital that employers can recognise the signs of fatigue and help to combat the problem before it leads to burnout. Take note of any members of the team who are putting in too much overtime, and be sure to arrange a time to discuss this. It could be that they need extra support or that their workload needs to be lightened.
And it is also possible that staff are tired for reasons unrelated to work. If this is the case you should advise them as best you can, especially if it’s affecting their ability to do their job. Encouraging your staff to go to bed an hour earlier, or to adopt a better work-life balance can help them to get those precious eight hours of kip!
We often take for granted how important sleep is too us. Life doesn’t just stop because you’re tired, but letting it go too far can have much bigger implications. Organisation, time-management and a work-life balance can all contribute towards getting a better night’s sleep. This will in turn lead to better working days and a more positive outlook.