This article was published on Tue 17 Sep 2019. At the time of publishing, this article was true and accurate, however, over time this may have changed. If you have any concerns about this please contact us

Sleeptember 2019

Tue 17 Sep 2019


Most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep per night to function at your best

We spend about a third of our lives asleep. Sleep is essential - It is as important to our bodies as eating, drinking and breathing, and is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health. Sleeping helps us to recover from mental as well as physical exertion.

Sleep and health are strongly related - poor sleep can increase the risk of having poor health, and poor health can make it harder to sleep.  Sleep disturbances can be one of the first signs of distress.

Common mental health problems like anxiety and depression can often underpin sleep problems.

According to The Sleep Council organisation shift work can be harmful to sleep

Poor Sleep or lack of sleep can lead to –

  • Mood changes
  • High levels of Stress
  • High levels of anger
  • A higher tendency to take drugs and drink alcohol

How to look after yourself when working nights

  • Manage your time correctly
  • Eat correctly
  • Prepare yourself to be in the best condition possible for your night shift

There are four simple things to consider to help you with a period of poor sleep:

  • Health - It’s important to address any mental and physical health worries that might keep you awake.
  • Environment - Where you sleep is important. Watching TV, playing with phones or eating in bed can all affect the quality of our sleep. Temperature, noise levels and light all play a part in determining our sleep.
  • Attitude - In the time before we go to bed, we should try and wind down, be less stimulated, and relax. Try relaxation techniques, a warm bath or mindfulness practice.
  • Lifestyle - Stimulants like caffeine can make it harder to sleep, and a heavy or sugary meal close to bedtime can make sleep uncomfortable and alcohol can reduce the quality of sleep.

Top 10 reasons to get a good night’s sleep

  • Sleep helps reduce stress
  • Sleep can improve your memory
  • Sleep can lower your blood pressure
  • Sleep can help you maintain your weight
  • Sleep puts you in a better mood
  • Sleep could reduce your chances of diabetes
  • Sleep helps keep your heart healthy
  • Sleep can be a painkiller
  • Sleep can make you smarter

Risks of poor sleep

  • Memory issues
  • Mood changes
  • Trouble with thinking and concentration
  • Accidents – car or in the home
  • Weakened immunity
  • High blood pressure
  • Risk of diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Risk of heart disease
  • Poor balance

What to do if you can’t sleep

  • Try mindfulness sleep here
  • Use the Headspace App here
  • Have a look at MindFit Cop on the Oscar Kilo website here
  • Watch this Webinar here
  • Try this 4 week plan here
  • Talk to your line manager
  • Talk to your EAP provider

Police Mutual Care Line Service provided by Health Assured can offer advice and information at the end of a phone, helping with a range of concerns including sleep problems. To talk to someone please call 0800 028 1708 or take a look at the e-portal –

Health & Wellbeing e-portal

Username: policemutual

Password: careline


Police Mutual offer a range of wellbeing support services, for more details check out the For You pages on our website

Police Mutual Assurance Society Limited, trading as Police Mutual is an incorporated friendly society Registered office: Alexandra House, Queen Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6QS. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.

Type of article: Articles
Category: Wellbeing

Return to News and Blog