The relationship between sleep and mental health

Dave Roberts

Head of Pensions and Benefits

March 19, 2021

Getting some serious shut-eye can really make all the difference to your mental health. No, really!

According to the NHS, the average adult needs between six to nine hours of sleep each night to feel their best self. We actually spend a third of our lives sleeping, so we definitely need to make sure the snoozes we get are great ones. 

When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep? 

If your response was – I can’t remember. Firstly, let me tell you, you’re not alone with one in three of us suffering from poor sleep. Unfortunately, lack of sleep can start to take its toll. Not just on our physical wellbeing but our mental health as well. 

This is why, at Virgin Media, we feel it’s important to drive these conversations to help our people to continue to thrive and what better time than World Sleep Day to help raise awareness of the realities poor sleep can have on each of us. 

Boosting our sleep…with a little bit of help from our wellbeing partners Bupa and Unmind. 

One of the perks of working for Virgin Media is the benefits we offer our people. From access to Bupa Healthy Minds to Unmind – our pocket portal to good mental health. Through these support systems, we can offer great resources to help our people not only feel their best self but guide them to understand the root causes of any problems they may be facing.

There’s a key correlation between poor sleep and negative mental health and it can become a vicious cycle if it’s not addressed. 

Lack of sleep = tiredness = inability to focus on daily tasks = low mood = feelings of worry or stress = lack of sleep and the cycle continues. 

Not only that but having a bad night’s sleep can impact our attention span, memory recall, ability to cope and learning the next day.

So, what can you do? All the resources we have guide us to learning more about ourselves and what could be causing us to not get the sleep we need to thrive. That’s your first point of call – understanding you. You may find that it could be simple lifestyle changes like not looking at your phone at night or cutting back on sugar and caffeine that help boost your sleep or there are more underlying causes that you need to address. 

Here are some great external resources you can use to get support and give you that much need boost:

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