Nicky, 2015, Br trendy: Sleep at work, Viewed 27rh Octover 2016, <http://thesleephub.com/trendy-sleep-work/>
As I wait patiently for my interviewee, Xavier Clayton (who has completed his Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours) I notice a familiar face, Matthew O’Neil. What a surprise when I found out that Matthew (a good friend of mine) is also Clayton’s colleague and special guest.
Xavier “covered sleep as a pretty big thing” within his degree, also studying the “hygiene of sleep, as it ties in with mental health”. Our mutual friend Matthew has been training in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) for the past six months and therefore dedicates a lot of time and importance to sleep.
Xavier and Matthew work in insurance as Senior Claims Assessors in group life claims. They believe that “90% of claimants have ongoing problems due to their lack of sleep” . They agree that “Sleep is impacted by stresses and lack of sleep makes it harder to deal with these, therefore creating an ongoing cycle”. With 60% of people getting less than 5 hours (Aguire 2015), Xavier was “pretty impressed with the other 40% getting more”, jokingly adding “I feel like superman when I get more than 6hrs”.
“It’s stupid people staying up [at night] on Facebook and complaining about not being able to sleep, that I don’t understand.” We can see the negative impact technological advancements have on sleep, such as “ TV, Netflix, Stan, Playstation, Foxtel, the internet in general” says Xavier. “It’s all creating hyperactive minds”, Matthew adds.
It is clear that technology has had negative impacts on our sleep, but “do you believe that it could have a positive impact?” I asked them. “I think there already are. There are napping apps, which keep you on track. You use them don’t you?” Asked Xavier to Matthew. “Yes, but It takes a lot of discipline to allocate the time required for sleep, it is only because I can really get hurt at [MMA] training that I make sure I have the correct amount. The app only acts as an aid to helping my power naps” he answered.
It is this value and discipline towards sleep that we as a society are currently lacking. Xavier mentioned Google’s introduction of napping pods in their workplace, “which are designed for 15 minute powernaps, to increase wakefulness and release stress” balancing what we are missing out on at night .However, “I don’t believe they will be used as research and science have intended. Virgin Active already has napping pods here in Sydney, but the Average Joe will go in, sit on their phone, relax, but not actually sleep”.
Now that we have established that there are developments that aid our sleep, do you think technology will ever advance enough so we don’t need sleep? Xavier Laughed, “No, muscle and organ recovery is very important, you would need a lot of good medicine. You need that recovery! I don’t think medicine will ever go that far”. However we could implement “sleep accelerators such as oxygen chambers, as it has sends help straight to trauma areas. This would be perfect for you Matt. For every 1 hr you spend inside an oxygen chamber you receive the same physical benefits of 4hrs of sleep”.
“At the end of the day it’s not about the developments in technology, we will need a large cultural shift for change and sleep getting more of a wrap.” But we can’t trust your tired selves, so it is important that we start to try.
Aguirre, C. 2015, What would happen if you do not sleep? , Ted Ed,Viewed 20th August 2015, <http://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-would-happen-if-you-didn-t-sleep-claudia-aguirre>