A Comprehensive Guide to Corporate Wellness Programs

Guided Sleep Meditation To Beat Workplace Stress

9 min read
Published on 31 August, 2022

What do Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Donald Trump have in common?

They do not require much sleep!

The "Sleepless Elite" is a term mentioned by the Wall Street Journal. It refers to people born with the Thatcher Gene. A genetic mutation held by 1 percent - 3 percent of the world's population, causes them to require less sleep to operate adequately. They work while the rest of the world sleeps.

While it is uncertain who has the thatcher gene and who does not, some successful entrepreneurs do not mind breaking the eight-hour-a-night norm. There is a noticeable trend where corporate leaders are glorifying sleep deprivation.

A good night's sleep is vital for the overall functioning of a human being. Being tired reduces our performance, harms our relationships, ruins our moods, hurts our brains, and makes us less ethical.

We feel that these Corporate leaders are not setting a good example in this area, particularly when obtaining the best performance out of an organization's people. Managers generally believe that merely bringing in the appropriate people will result in high productivity levels.

However, this assumption ignores that people do not always perform at their best daily. When job expectations are severe, people might feel stressed, burned out, and generally tired, resulting in poor performance.

An approach to this concern would be incorporating guided sleep meditations into corporate wellness programs.

Why is deep sleep important?

Sleep is a fundamental regeneration stage and energy source for the body and mind. You've probably observed that you feel weary, cranky, irritated, and sad when you don't get enough sleep.

5 Causes of Sleep Disorders in Corporate Employees

5-Causes-of-Sleep-Disorders-in-Corporate-Employees-2

1. Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

Revenge bedtime procrastination refers to a phenomenon in which people put off going to bed to engage in activities that they don't have time for during the day. It is a way of finding time for leisure and entertainment at the expense of sleep.

Individuals with demanding occupations, employees who put in long hours, and parents with little free time throughout the day are just a few examples of those who commonly exhibit this behavior.

It frequently begins small. You may stay up late browsing on your phone or watching your favorite shows, and 10 or 15 minutes daily evolves into an hour or two. In other situations, you may find yourself awake until the early morning hours doing little things before succumbing to sleep.

This lifestyle can seriously impact employee health and cause burnout.

2. Stress and Overwork

Do you lie in bed with your work laptop, attempting to finish your job and meet deadlines? Do you find it difficult to establish a work-life balance? Do you feel any physical or mental exhaustion?

Self-regulation, dissociation, and rebalancing are common healthy stress responses. When we are always on high alert, the stress chemicals, adrenaline, and cortisol wreck our mental and physical processes. Thus completely disturbing our sleep.

Listen to relaxing music during breaks at work to keep stress at bay.

Workplace stress can surface as physical, psychological, or behavioral problems

Physical symptoms include

  • Fatigue
  • Muscular tension
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sleeping difficulties, such as insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal upsets, such as diarrhea or constipation
  • Dermatological disorders

Psychological symptoms include

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Discouragement
  • Irritability
  • Pessimism
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope,
  • Cognitive difficulties, such as a reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions

Behavioral symptoms include:

  • An increase in sick days or absenteeism
  • Aggression
  • Diminished creativity and initiative
  • A drop in work performance
  • Problems with interpersonal relationships
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Lower tolerance of frustration and impatience
  • Disinterest
  • Isolation

3. Screen-Time

Technology has also contributed to the rise of sleep disorders. During the hour or two before sleeping at night, 90% of Americans use digital gadgets. Many of us sleep with our phones close to our faces or beneath our covers with the ringer on.

Too much screen and gadget use might disrupt our sleep. According to a study, the more gadgets people use daily, the more difficult it is for them to fall and stay asleep.

Corporate Employees, especially in the IT industry, are exposed to increased screen time. Research has also proven a relationship between technology use and sleep dysfunction due to the blue light emitted from these devices, which suppresses the sleep-promoting hormone called melatonin.

You may read Blue Light Glasses Benefits - 5 Tips For Optimal Health

4. Overthinking

Many sleep problems emerge from nighttime overthinking. It appears your mind flies into overdrive as soon as you lay your head on the pillow. Of course, the rushing thoughts were hovering over your head all day.

But without any other distractions, you become more aware of them at night. This can cause insomnia and lead to burnout at the workplace. As a result, productivity and efficiency at work will be greatly affected.

5. Mindless Eating

Employees who work night shifts or remotely tend to resolve to binge eating.
Like the rest of the body, the digestive tract has a natural rhythm that slows down in the evening. Eating late in the evening or even late at night strains the digestive system and sends the body into overdrive when it needs to relax.

Late in the evening, avoid stimulating foods and beverages. Instead, go for light, readily digested foods.

Milk, butter, fruits, vegetables, and grains are easy on the stomach and promote restful sleep.

You may read What Is Mindless Eating: 5 Ways To Curb Mindless Snacking At Work

Guided Sleep Meditation

Guided-Sleep-Meditation

Sleep meditation is a type of meditation that focuses on deep, gradual relaxation to try to lure the body and mind to sleep. A routine for getting to sleep includes practicing guided sleep meditation.

The mind tends to magnify our anxieties while dismissing our joys. With the help of mindfulness meditation, you may change your mind to act in the exact opposite way. You'll feel more at ease as a result, which will enhance your sleep. These methods are also deliberate forms of meditation for mental wellness.

Exercises in mindfulness breathing not only reduce stress and promote restful sleep but also aid with gastrointestinal issues and high blood pressure. They have a reputation for assisting with cardiac conditions.

You may read 8 Workplace Wellness Ideas to Combat the Psychological Effects of Working Night Shift.

How to meditate to sleep?

Once you're in bed, a sleep meditation can be as simple as these 6 steps:

  • Notice your in-breath.
  • Notice your out-breath.
  • Notice the sensations in your body.
  • Allow thoughts to come.
  • Allow thoughts to go.
  • Return to noticing your breath.

Even if the steps are minimal, continuing a sleep meditation practice is challenging. It calls for practice. But even if we merely train for a little while each night, the effects accumulate. We start retraining our minds to unwind and quiet down so we can fall asleep more quickly.

You might not always find the time to participate in mediations in the morning as a corporate employee. Guided sleep meditation can be quite beneficial in staying mindful and relaxed. Additionally, it will promote intellectual wellness and emotional intelligence.

Sleep is the best meditation.
– Dalai Lama

Suggested read Try the Sleep Challenge and Feel More Productive at Work

Steps to Perform a Guided Sleep Meditation

In this guided sleep meditation, you take your attention to every part of your body.

1. Pay attention to your breathwork

Pay-attention-to-your-breathwork-

When we discuss breathwork, we usually mean a concentrated meditation for your overall wellness, including your mind. You can attempt various mindfulness breathing exercises for sleep to get noticeable effects.

One includes lying down and shutting your eyes while your arms are at your sides. As soon as you're at ease, focus on your breathing. Feel how your breath enters your body through your nose and leaves it. If concentrating is difficult, try breathing in and out simultaneously while doing so in your head.

Feel your chest rise and fall as you inhale. While doing this, you can even focus on your navel, chest, or the opening of your nostrils. This breathing-focused method of mindfulness meditation tries to relax your body by giving you power over it first. After all, your breath is what ties your spirit to your physical body.

2. Be aware of your body from head to toe

Be-aware-of-your-body-from-head-to-toe

Focus on your left toe while keeping your eyes closed. Now, gradually shift your attention from your toe to your complete foot. Start with the ankle, then progress gently through your leg, your calf, your left knee, and your left thigh. Make careful to pay close attention to these areas while moving them slowly.

Repeat the technique for the right side, starting with the right toe.
Once both legs are done, bring your attention to your pelvic area, and feel that it is relaxing under your watch. Take your attention to the hips now. Feel that there is no pain. Your attention is healing it.

In the same way, pay attention to your back, your stomach, your chest, both your hands, your shoulders, your neck, your face, and finally, your forehead. More often, you will be fast asleep before you have crossed the hips. No wonder it is considered an effective guided mindfulness meditation.

After completing both legs, focus on your pelvic region and feel how it is relaxing as you are listening. Now pay close attention to the hips. Feel the absence of pain. Your focus is on curing it.

Pay attention to your back, stomach, chest, both of your hands, shoulders, neck, face, and lastly, your forehead in the same manner. More often than not, you will have crossed your hips before you have fallen asleep. It makes sense why it is regarded as a powerful guided sleep meditation.

Suggested read Zen Meditation: Insight Into The Unconscious

6 Benefits of Guided Sleep Meditation

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1. Better Sleep

Melatonin production peaks about an hour before we fall asleep, so practicing guided meditation right before bed can help us fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper, more restful sleep.

2. Soothes away stress

By reducing stress through meditation, we can calm our nervous system and restore our energy levels. We can also focus more clearly and effectively during stressful situations.

3. Improves Mood

Meditation also encourages more empathy, kindness, and compassion towards yourself and others. It helps you see things as they really are, without judgment, and allows you to respond to them with greater wisdom and understanding.

4. Strengthens Work Relationships

When you feel calm and relaxed, you tend to speak up more often and share your feelings. Studies have found that regular meditation can increase oxytocin (the "cuddle" hormone). Oxytocin makes us happier and calmer and reduces aggression. Since we spend most of our weekday time with our coworkers, it is ideal to carve out some meditation time before interacting with your manager or colleagues.

5. Encourages Self-Care

Sleep meditation helps us slow down enough to notice what's happening around us, whether it's a thought, feeling, or physical sensation. It allows us to pay attention to the present moment without judgment or distraction. This practice gives us the opportunity to observe our thoughts and feelings as they arise, which helps us gain insight into ourselves.

6. Lesser Absenteeism and Grievances

Employees take days off for their mental health to avoid burnout. Ensuring a mindful workforce would also help achieve productivity and reduce absenteeism. It will also, in turn, reduce the number of complaints the human resource department has to deal with.

Tips for Maximizing the Above Benefits

Meditation for sleep works best when you are practicing good sleep hygiene, so other factors are not as likely to disrupt your sleep.

Try these tips:

  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day
  • Only use your bed for sleep
  • Follow the same routine every night before sleep
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the hours before sleep

Vantage Fit has a range of guided meditations. You can try listening to the sleep meditation available on the Vantage Fit app for a peaceful slumber.

Conclusion

Numerous advantages of meditation have been discovered. However, how much of an advantage you receive depends on the time of day you choose to meditate. Although meditation may be done at any time of day, it is preferable to do it right before bed if you have a hectic schedule or trouble falling asleep.

You can benefit by spending even five minutes of your day clearing your thoughts and considering the peace and tranquility this practice has to offer.

This article is written by Rithika Sarmah. Besides working as a Content Writer at Vantage Circle, she is an inquisitive reader who enjoys learning about human anatomy and physiology. In her leisure hours, she hums to the melody of her guitar and captures snapshots of her best moments. To get in touch, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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