Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Good Night’s Sleep Does a Body Good

Agoodnightssleep4-6-2011 How many hours of sleep do you get in a night? Eight hours? Five hours? Less than that? You’ve probably heard that the more sleep you get, the more refreshed and energized you will feel. But, with workplace related stress on the rise, many people are reporting they’re not getting enough shut eye.

Throughout history, studies have shown that the average amount of sleep an individual gets each night has been declining. In 2010, the National Health Survey examined the sleep habits of workers across several industries and found that, compared to findings over the last 20 years, there was a 6% increase in the number who reported getting less than six hours of sleep each night. 

According to a 2011 poll by the National Sleep Foundation, almost 63% of Americans surveyed said their sleep needs are lacking. On average, it was found that many respondents are only getting about six hours and 55 minutes of sleep each night during the week.

Although the “normal” amount of sleep is defined as seven to eight hours a night, these amounts can vary from person to person based on age, gender, what tasks are performed by that person throughout the day, and how much energy is needed to perform those tasks. Some people may require more sleep while others seem to require less.

So, how much sleep do you really need? The National Sleep foundation defines an adequate amount of sleep as being able to wake up unprompted, feeling rested and alert, rather than drowsy. When you don’t get enough rest, you not only feel drowsy, but you can also experience poor performance, decreased alertness, and increased chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

So here are a few ways to ensure you catch some good Z’s each night

  • Turn off electronics close to bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine in the evening.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Establish a sleep schedule and stick to it.
  • Avoid daytime napping.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal late at night.

These are just a few tips to help you get the rest your body needs. Make it a goal to start counting more sheep at night. The more sleep you get, the less stressed you will feel. And that will not only help you be more productive throughout the day, but also help you feel happier and healthier too.

Is Employee Morale Getting Better or Worse? You Tell Us

Employee morale took a big hit during the recession when workers faced difficult pay freezes, layoffs, and cutbacks. Downsizing forced remaining employees to take on heavier workloads, all of which as impacted employee morale further still.

But with the economy seeing some improvement, employers are now taking steps to improve employee engagement and morale to help keep their top talent from job hopping in 2011. Whether it’s reinstating benefits or offering pay raises, employers have made some strides in the first quarter of this year to reengage their workforce.

So we want to know,

7 Perks to Embracing a Positive Attitude

Perkstopositivity Enjoy your job, feel healthier, and improve your relationships. These goals aren’t out of reach. In fact, the power to achieve each one lies with you.

Your outlook on life impacts the way you see the world and how the world sees you. Revamp your attitude, and reap the rewards of greater personal and professional satisfaction.

Come on, get happy.
When you focus on what’s good in your life – instead of what’s missing – you’re more thankful and fulfilled. Need help looking on the bright side? Try spending more time with positive people, listening to upbeat music, and reading motivational books. Whenever it’s up to you, avoid situations and individuals who bring you down. Even small tweaks to your routine can lift your spirits. 

Beat stress.
When you commit to a positive outlook, the worries of the day don’t seem nearly as overwhelming. Focusing on the silver lining keeps daily nuisances like traffic jams and computer problems from ruining your day. If you start feeling frustrated, take a quick time out to close your eyes, count to 10, and take a few deep breaths.

Improve your health.
Stress wreaks havoc on your physical and mental well-being. A sunny disposition may not be the cure-all for every ailment, but studies consistently show that a positive attitude promotes better health. If you’re having a difficult time managing your stress, look for ways to get relief. Join a gym, take up a relaxing hobby, or find someone you can talk to about your tension. Make reducing stress and positive thinking a priority in your life, and you’ll see results.

Strengthen relationships.
Upbeat people are easier to get along with and more fun to be around. Strive to make your co-workers’ day brighter and your boss’ job easier. As an added bonus, your efforts will pay off with a more enjoyable workplace filled with happier colleagues. 

Boost your career.
As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.” Another way to say it is: positive people are more likely to get ahead in life. When you’re excited about showing up for work each day, you’ll inspire co-workers and impress your supervisor. Even if it feels insincere at first, resolve to smile, quit grumbling, and encourage others. Soon, you’ll find cheerfulness comes more naturally.

Increase your job satisfaction.
Every job has rough patches. Instead of focusing on what you don’t like, concentrate on what you do enjoy. You may not have the job you’ve always dreamed of, but with a change of perspective, you may find that your current position has a lot to offer. A brighter outlook will allow you to make the most of any situation and improve your overall contentment.

Experience a greater work-life balance.
When you’re constantly complaining about work, it detracts from your personal life. Venting every now and then is okay – just don’t make a habit of it. Try to keep your shop talk limited to topics such as your future goals, interesting projects, or light-hearted events of the day. 

While you can’t control everything in life, your outlook is one thing you do have power over. When you commit to seeing the glass half full, the world suddenly seems brighter. Not only will you experience less, stress and better health, you’ll also benefit from improved relationships and greater career satisfaction.