An expert in health and wellbeing is using her life experiences in an initiative that helps the region’s workforce cope with the stresses of modern living through fatigue management.
Holistic therapist Emma Cook has founded Purely Balanced, a company dedicated to improving productivity, staff health, wellbeing and motivation through 90-minute sleep well well seminars.
A bad night’s sleep causes levels of the stress steroid hormone cortisol to rise in the blood leading to increases in anxiety directly raising the chances of staff absences. Heath and Safety Executive statistics show that almost half of all work days are lost to ill health and 12.5m work day absences are linked to stress and depression.
Research has also shown that a bad night’s sleep results in cognitive impairment equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of 0.5% which is approaching the legal driving limit.
Worse still, poor sleep also causes disruption to the frontal lobe of the brain causing ‘brain fog’, slowing reaction times and decreasing judgement and decision making. Hand-eye coordination is impaired leading to clumsiness and increased chances of accidents in the workplace.
Emma is now working with the NHS, the off-shore oil industry, including Flotta Terminal, Orkney, local councils and businesses and at Chartered Institute of Personal Development events to combat a growing problem among the workforce.
She said: “I had quite a troubled start to life and am now channelling that experience to help others. I have researched this issue for the past ten years reading everything from psycho-cybernetics of the mind to quantum physics and self-development. I even lived with monks for a period to develop effective breathing techniques. As a result, I now realise that self-care prevents healthcare.”
As part of organisations’ continuous professional development programmes, Emma’s Sleep Well seminars are now helping countless people deal with fatigue, boosting motivation, focus and productivity in the workplace.
“Consider how you feel when you have a really good night’s sleep,” said Emma, 31, of Whitton, near Stockton. “Now imagine a workforce full of employees who feel the same way. Think of the effect on organisations and annual figures when employees feel well rested and ready for their day, everyday.”
Purely Balanced sessions help staff understand the science behind sleep and offer strategies on how to sleep smarter.
They also tackle how to get the best from the day to improve sleep patterns, waking up techniques, how to defeat the mid-day lull and handle shift rotations and pattern changes.
She said: “All techniques and areas covered are science-based on how we work as humans giving us the ‘How To’ manual on our super-computer that is our mind.
“My aim is to help as many people as possible, to help create a world where people feel rested so they can enjoy life and spend more time with their family and be completely present when they do so. It is my absolute passion and having a good night’s sleep offers a huge step forwards towards this goal.
“Purely Balanced is not your typical health and wellbeing business; there are no eight week courses or need to change work styles and it is effective immediately that night.”
Seminars are 90-minutes long and supported by an information website.