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16 April 2021

The importance of sleep

Bank Workers Charity webinar
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Understanding the importance of sleep

We hosted an online event with the Bank Workers Charity on 16th April 2021 looking at the importance of sleep and the impact poor sleep has on our mental health and wellbeing.

We asked Paul Barrett, Head of Wellbeing at the Bank Workers Charityto come and talk to our members about:

Paul began the session by detailing some statistics about sleep issues during the pandemic:

"A UK study published during the first lockdown found people were getting an hour more sleep than before, yet one in four said sleep was 'worse than ever', and as many as 48% said they were being kept awake worrying about Covid-19."

Managing Covid-Somnia

‘Covid-Somnia’ refers to the ongoing impact of the covid-19 pandemic which has made getting a good night’s rest significantly harder. Many of us have been finding it difficult to drift off, experiencing disruptive sleep or not getting a good restorative night’s rest. In addition to this, a lack of routine, spending a lot of time at home, and not getting enough daylight has resulted in us feeling more nervous, emotional, irritable and anxious. Over time, poor sleep quality can have a negative impact on our wellbeing, effecting our energy, focus and ability to function - making us more susceptible to illnesses.

A UK study published during the first lockdown found people were getting an hour more sleep than before, yet one in four said sleep was "worse than ever”, and as many as 48% said they were being kept awake worrying about covid-19.  More recent research conducted by UCL found sleep problems have increased during the three lockdowns with fewer than one in ten adults reporting they're getting good sleep. People may be less worried about catching the virus than they were at the beginning of the pandemic, but that hasn't translated into improved sleep as the worries have shifted to fears over finances and job security.

That's why we teamed up with the Bank Workers Charity for a wellbeing webinar that focussed on improving the quality of our sleep. Paul identified a range of strategies we can employ to get us safely through the pandemic and set up good habits that minimise the risks to our mental health and wellbeing.

You can access the recording below, along with links to download the slides and a link to our feedback survey.

Recording of webinar

Members told us that the next webinar topic they’d like us to cover is loneliness and social wellbeing, so that’s what we’ll do. We’ll deliver this session with the BWC in early June – keep an eye out for the invite!

Download the recording Download the slides Tell us how we did


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Tips for better sleep

The good news is, there are healthy sleep habits that we can introduce to our routine to help us get some well-deserved rest, and in turn, protect our physical and mental wellbeing. So, what can we do to manage ‘Covid-Somnia’?

More on mental wellbeing BWC value your opinion

There's a two-way relationship between poor sleep and mental health conditions. The key is to practice good 'sleep hygiene' which means having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep. Find what works best for you and stick to it.

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