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Top tips to tackle sleep deprivation

Last week, reports were released about employers considering later starting times to address their employees’ sleep deprivation.

According to Huffington Post, in the UK 60% of people get less than 7 hours of sleep a night, and 25% get interrupted sleep. “This could be due to noisy neighbours, busy minds, young children waking up at night or simply working and/or playing too hard. And sometimes you just can’t do anything about it, at least in the short term,” writes David Lancefield.

So, having experienced periods of sleep deprivation himself, Lancefield came up with these tips to help manage and tackle the effects of a lack of sleep:

* Don’t set any expectation for being able to carry on with other parts of your life that you used to do. Don’t compare yourself with anyone else who is getting normal sleep. You will simply have to do less
* Be even more flexible in when you go to sleep. Go to sleep much earlier if you need to. Forget any of the routines you used to stick to until you get back to more normal sleep patterns.
* Take breaks more regularly: think of your day as a series of fast runs, or even sprints, where you focus your attention on something or someone and then recharge (for example, by moving or going outside) and then start again.
* Recognise that you will be short with some people, most often the ones you love. Your body and mind is more sensitised than normal and so any actual or perceived criticism, however small, feels like something far more substantial.
* Look after your face: cleansing, toning and moisturising your face has a disproportionately positive feeling not only for your face but the rest of your mind and body. I’m no beautician clearly but I can testify to its effects.

Read Lancefield’s tips in full for more advice at