We’ve heard what we now consider the basics: lack of sleep puts you in a bad mood, makes you think slower, could have long-term side-effects….. I could go on but I can already hear you all telling me “We’ve already heard this before Ben!”

Well imagine waking up and having a one or two glasses of wine with your mornings homemade superfood chia bowl that you just posted on Instagram with the hashtag #healthyliving, then got in your car and drove to work all the while topping up your vino consumption in your sustainable living water bottle for the rest of the day……. I’m pretty sure you’d be sent home in a heartbeat if you actually made it to work.

So why is skimping on our sleep any different? 

2017 TAC Drink driving campaign
– So why would lack of sleep be any different in this situation

The Spiel

A study published in the  Journal for Occupational Environmental medicine [1] found that after 17 – 19 hours without sleep, subjects were tested for response speeds between the hours of 10:30pm and 1:00am and found that some subjects were equal to or worse that the response time of someone with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .05 and accuracy measures were significantly poorer again. After longer speeds with out sleep performance reached levels equivalent of a BAC of 0.1.

Granted this study was performed on subjects that hadn’t slept for a certain amount of hours, but if you are skimping on the recommended amount of sleep, your reaction times and accuracy is going to be considerably poor even at the start of the day, nether lone what it would be like in the afternoon and later stages of the day….. my bet is that you would be pushing these BAC equivalents pretty early.

In 1945 Joseph Pilates wrote in his book – Return to life through Contrology about the benefits of exercise and helping you sleep. He suggested that rolling and unrolling of the spine, which relax the nerves and induce a sound restful sleep. 

Watch the video below for a short 5-minute routine to help with getting to sleep.

The Facts

17 – 19 hours without sleep can affect response and accuracy equivalent to a blood alcohol content of .05

Journal for Occupational Environmental medicine 

Since 2014 close to 1 in 5 drivers and riders who lost their lives had a BAC greater than 0.05

towards zero.vic.gov.au

Most adults should aim for the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night

sleep.org

In Aligned for Life Pilates’ recent self care quiz we found that 62% of participants averaged less than 7 hours sleep

The Tips

Ditch the Phone

The blue light that electronics emit sends signals to your brain to remain alert. Make sure to turn off your phone and any other devices at least an hour before bedtime.

Let’s get physical

Life can be stressful, and all the worries can keep you alert long after you should be asleep. Exercise is a great way to battle stress and anxiety. After work, attend a Pilates class, walk around the block a few times, or go for a jog.

Nap game strong

A short nap through out the day can help you to recharge.  The sweet spot is 20 minutes, if you sleep for longer you risk getting into a deep sleep phase and at risk of waking up feeling more tired than before your nap.

Zen Ben

Once you’ve ditched the digital devices, consider sitting quietly and just letting your mind settle. A few minutes of meditation or slow breathing can help reduce any stress you’re experiencing, even doing my 5-minute rolling and unrolling routine in the video above.  In a world where the majority of us are tied to technology, it’s good to remember not everything is as urgent as it feels. Truth be told, a lot of the emails, projects and tasks can wait till tomorrow….. while a good nights sleep can not.


*Please note these exercises and tips are general in nature if you are experiencing pain or any adverse symptoms please consult a medical or allied health professional


I hope you have enjoyed the information that I have shared with you in this blog and that you can use this to start taking back your physicality and wellbeing bit by bit, and not giving it all to the demands of modern society.

If you would like more information in regards to your wellbeing or would like to check out Aligned for Life Pilates Melbourne in regards to sessions, classes or workplace wellness programs click below.

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