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Workplace stress and sleep problems: they’re connected

Intuitively you know that stress and sleep are closely linked yet your inability to combine these two areas of knowledge can prevent you from taking either of them seriously. In this article I am going to take you through how they impact each other so you understand the risk of not dealing with either.

 

What is stress?

Stress is a biological and emotional reaction that you experience as you move out of your comfort zone and into the threat zone, irrespective of the situation. It occurs when you perceive that what is being asked of you is beyond your capability and highly likely to have an unfavourable outcome. While you are holding this emotional perception, your body is responding to it biologically. It is sending a message to your adrenal glands to produce cortisol so you can fight, flight, freeze or fawn at the appropriate time, to deal with the threat.

Biological response to stress

Adrenal glands can’t store cortisol and so when you perceive the threat has passed,...

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Caffeine & Sleep: What YOU need to know

If you’re wondering what’s keeping you up at night, it could be the amount of caffeine that you consume throughout the day. Caffeine is safe for most adults and can even have important health benefits. On the other hand, too much of it can contribute to insomnia and other sleep problems.

 

Luckily pure and highly concentrated caffeine food products have been illegal in Australia since December 2019. All foods in Australia that contain caffeine, need to meet the standard of 5% or less for foods that are solid or semi-solid, or 1% or less for foods that are liquid. This helps with keeping your caffeine intake down.

 

The average intake of caffeine in Australia is approximately 210mg per 70kg person (equivalent to approximately 2.7 250ml cups of instant coffee or 2.6 standard 250mL energy drinks). Sales of energy drinks in Australia and New Zealand increased from 34.5 million litres in 2001 to 155.6 litres in 2010 and it has been increasing ever since.

 

What...

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Is Workplace PTSD waking you up at night?

You may not think much about waking up during the night, however if it becomes a regular occurrence, e.g. 4 out of 7 nights for a couple of weeks, then you may want to investigate it further. If normal sleep doesn't return after a week then you are starting to embed a new sleep pattern which could lead to unhealthy consequences. 

What is Workplace PTSD?

PTSD, the acronym for ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’ is most commonly associated with war veterans and jobs that encounter a lot of distress or trauma. PTSD is used to describe the lingering physical and emotional after effects of a shocking, destabilizing event. However, since the term was invented our understanding of trauma has grown. We now know that this a human response to an uncommon experience/s, and it is not a sign of weakness, rather an adaptive response to a traumatic experience or series of traumatic experiences.

 

Trauma is an umbrella term and includes one-time, multiple, or long-lasting...

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Are over the counter sleeping pills safe?

addiction insomnia sleep Feb 27, 2022

If you regularly have trouble sleeping, it’s a sign that something is out of balance. It could be something as simple as too much caffeine, or dehydration. Or it could be a symptom of an emerging underlying medical or psychological problem. Whatever the reason, it won’t be cured with an over the counter sleeping pill.  At best, an over the counter sleeping pill will provide a temporary band aid. At worst, it’ll erode your sleep confidence and worsen your sleep problem in the long run.

 

Insomnia is the most common sleep problem among the public and there two recognised treatments for it; medication prescribed by a medical doctor, usually a GP; or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i) provided by an accredited professional. The medication prescribed by a doctor can only be used safely for 2-4 weeks. The other treatment, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia is a multipronged behavioural approach that is proven to be more effective than...

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Street marijuana is not a sleep aid

As smart, highly independent people we tend to find our own answers for problems. Rather than asking for help, we tend go looking for it and sometimes in the wrong places. Some of my clients who have been struggling to sleep have resorted to smoking marijuana to help them enjoy a better night’s sleep. They are not using medicinal cannabis which is available on prescription.  

 

Their inability to sleep or insomnia has been triggered by a variety of situations; a long-term relationship break-up, need for increased stress management techniques or high anxiety due to changes related to COVID to name a few; and the solution they have settled on is a bong of marijuana. Only to find their life unravel more.

 

Cannabis is a plant that we commonly call marijuana, ganja in herbal form or hashish in resinous form. It’s use became prevalent in the 20th century when cannabis was used for religious, spiritual, medicinal and even recreational purposes. To date, the use...

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How Sleep protects YOUR health

insomnia sleep wellbeing Nov 16, 2020

Until the 1950s, most people thought of sleep as a passive activity. We now know it is essential for our survival and wellbeing. It provides the opportunity for our body and mind to repair themselves and it is critical for maintaining good physical and mental health.

 

Sleep allows us to conserve energy, consolidate and reconsolidate memories, process information, regulate body temperature and stimulate various nerve circuits within the brain to ensure its proper functioning. The sleeping brain also helps the body’s stress response to switch off.

 

Sleep is not a luxury.

 

We’ve all suffered through days of headache, fatigue and irritability after a bad night’s sleep for whatever reason. Sure, you can make up for it with a power nap or by sleeping it off the following two nights. But when insufficient sleep becomes the norm and you’re not getting anywhere from 7 - 9 hours of quality sleep each night, then problems start developing. 

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