Sleeping and Optimising Occupational Performance

I recently came across these post-event notes for attendees of a keynote talk I gave last year, so I thought I’d share them here.

Thank you for inviting me to talk on Optimising Occupational Performance at your conference. I hope it gave you the opportunity to consider your own occupational performance and to think about any barriers or potential barriers that may stand in the way of you reaching and sustaining optimum success.

For more efficient, effective ways of working and how to achieve them, here are some top-level notes around Sleeping.


Technology used and how we sleep:

Studies have tested the effects of tablets such as iPads and laptops for up to 5 hours before bed. It seems that the natural evening rise in melatonin (a hormone that makes us ready for sleep) is not affected by 1 hour of bright screen light, but it is after 1.5 hours. So, after 1.5 hours of technology use in the evening people report feeling less sleepy. They also do better on mental performance tests and their brainwaves suggest increased alertness. Repeated use of a bright screen over 5 days can delay the body clock by 1.5 hours.

  • The bright screen light from devices can cause increased alertness.

  • Activities on devices can be stimulating and make us less ready to sleep.

  • People can become absorbed and continue using technology beyond their usual bedtime.

I’ll be covering more about sleep in future blogs and articles.

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