Workers urged to maintain sleep patterns in Christmas party season
A leading expert has urged workers to maintain good sleep patterns during the festive season, as new research highlights the impact Christmas parties can have on our bodies.
Speaking to SHP Online, Marcus de Guingand from the Third Pillar of Health consultancy, said poor-quality sleep affects our concentration, productivity and health. “An occasional night staying up late and perhaps drinking too much will affect you the next day but if you can power through the day shouldn’t cause too much damage long term,” he told SHP Online.
“A greater issue is where the pattern is repeated regularly throughout the month. As the temperature drops and sleep is continuously disrupted you will find you pick up minor illnesses much more easily and productivity over the whole month will drop.
“However, if you are in a safety-critical role you need to understand that even one night of poor sleep can affect alertness, judgement, co-ordination, decision making and other key components of performance and safety.
His comments come as the retailer Benson for Beds publishes new research on how the body takes 24 hours to recover from the annual office Christmas party.
According to the research, British workers have the worst night’s sleep of the year on the night of their work’s Christmas party, with 65% getting less than five hours sleep.
And more than three quarters (80%) of those who went to work the next day said they were five times less productive, spending most of the day wishing they were back in bed and doing little to no work.
The day after a Christmas party, workers may also feel anxious, worrying about what happened the night before.
Productivity in December
Recent research also shows that throughout December, employees are around 10-20% less productive than any other month, focusing on festivities rather than work. Exhaustion, lack of motivation, and feeling hungover are amongst the main reasons for reduced productivity in the run up to Christmas.
“Try to ensure that you give yourself enough time to achieve the sleep you need and ideally that you mix non-alcoholic drinks so you go to bed with no alcohol in your system. The body processes roughly one unit of alcohol every hour as a guide,” added Mr de Guingand.
Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing
Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.
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