Do also let us know if you have any feedback on these web pages (as we are constantly updating them).
The Occupational Health team can also help you with expert confidential advice and support.
If you are unsure which team to contact feel free to email either Colleague Wellbeing or Occupational Health as we work closely together and will ensure you receive the support you need.
Many of us struggle to have a good night's sleep every night so if this is you don't feel alone.
In our last Colleague Health and Wellbeing survey, 45% of colleagues told us that they frequently have problems sleeping and 48% said they sometimes have trouble sleeping. See below for some support resources to help you have better sleep.
Support available for sleep problems:
- Spectrum Life is our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which is a confidential, neutral service provided by an external company to support colleagues at the University.
- If you are experiencing sleep problems it can help to talk to your manager who can refer you to Occupational Health for support. Alternatively, you can make a self-referral direct to the Occupational Health Team.
- Mindfulness sessions available at The University of Exeter
- What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is a simple and powerful practice of training our attention. It involves learning to pay attention to what is happening in the ‘here and now’ (i.e. sensations, thoughts, and emotions) in a non-judgemental way. It can be helpful because it can interrupt the habit of getting lost in thoughts, mostly about the future or past, which often generates more stress on top of the real pressures of everyday life. Mindfulness offers not only a way of reducing stress and preventing low mood, it also holds potential to improve the way we live, helping us to thrive and be resilient at work and in our broader lives.
- Sleep support offerings have been explored and we decided to trial Sleepio (a fully-automated, evidence based, digital CBT programme for Insomnia, provided by Big Health). The programme is evidenced to tackle thoughts and behaviours that contribute to poor sleep and was founded by Professor Colin Espie (sleep medicine specialist at the University of Oxford). On 27th September 2021 the pilot began with 40 colleagues signing up to trial the tool for six weeks. We asked colleagues to complete a survey which allowed us to score their wellbeing levels and sleep quality. This survey will then be re-issued at the end of the trial so we can compare scores and get a sense of how well the tool performed in improving our colleagues sleep patterns and wellbeing.
Other University resources
- Taking good care of ourselves can really help us to stay mentally well. Take a look at the ‘Self Care and Staying Well’ section for resources and advice.
- A new study co-authored by Dr David Plans, from the Business School, that shows going to sleep between 10 and 11pm is linked to lowered risk of heart disease, featured in many places this week including Washington Post, FOX News, The Guardian and ITV.com. Dr Plans also spoke about the study on BBC News and BBC Radio 4.
- Body Clock article (from the College of Medicine and Health)
- NHS sleep advice
- Relaxation and Mindfulness exercise and soundtracks to help you relax and prepare for sleep
- The Access to Work Mental Health Support - a confidential service delivered by Remploy funded by the Department of Works and Pensions is available at no charge to any employees with depression, anxiety, stress or other mental health issues affecting their work.
- NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)- an NHS support you can refer yourself directly to for talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling, other therapies and guided self-help. Local IAPT services are listed below:
- NHS Talkworks (Devon)
- NHS Outlook South West (Cornwall)
- Steps2Wellbeing (Dorset)
- Plymouth Options (Plymouth)
- Somerset Partnership Talking Therapies (Somerset)
- VitaMinds (Bristol, N.Somerset, S.Gloucestershire)
- B&NES Talking Therapies (Bah & N.E. Somerset)
- If you live outside of these areas, you can find your local service using the NHS IAPT Search Tool.
- You could also try setting a bedtime schedule notification on your phone.