The new initiative will feature 11 free monthly webinars covering the impact of sleep issues on health, work and home life. Through offering evidence-based knowledge and advice, Foothold is hoping to raise awareness and tackle the prevalence of sleep issues in the engineering community.
Foothold’s Marketing and Communications Manager Li-Anne Quinn explains:
“The uncertainty we are experiencing can take a big emotional toll. Sleep can be impacted by your emotional state, and not getting a good night’s rest can make us feel less equipped to deal with the challenges of the day. We want to help our community feel that they’re in the driving seat. That’s why we’re kicking off our webinar programme with the support of our partners Sleepstation, so that people understand what sleep really means to us all. By attending the webinars, we want people to feel that they’ve made a positive step forward in their wellbeing and get into a better sleep routine.”
The sleep improvement series will be delivered by Dr Neil Stanley, Director of Sleep Science at Sleepstation. Dr Stanley has been involved in sleep research for more than 38 years. He started his career at the Neurosciences Division of the R.A.F. and later became Director of Sleep Research at the University of Surrey.
He says: “During these webinars, you will learn about all aspects of sleep, why it is important, how it can occasionally go wrong and what easy steps you can take to sleep better and live better.”
The webinars are free to attend for all current and former IET members and their families.
COVID-19 and an increase in digital support
With 40% of people in the UK suffering from various sleep issues, it is clear that quality of sleep has an enormous impact on functionality, mental health and general wellbeing. But the uncertainty and increased stress levels are contributing to disrupted sleep patterns for more people than ever before.
Research from the Sleep Council earlier in the year revealed that over three-quarters of respondents (77%) say lack of sleep is interfering with their ability to function during the day. The effects of this range from daytime fatigue and loss of concentration to increased instances of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. This has led many support organisations, including Foothold, to reimagine their support and make it accessible digitally.
Li-Anne Quinn agrees: “People worry about the effect that the pandemic has or will have on their lives. They are also disconnected from one another, feeling lonely and more isolated. Now more than ever, we need to make the most of technology – to increase the digital support available to members of our community. Digital support can help people feel more socially connected to their community and realise they’re not in this alone. So that’s why we’re expanding our offering, starting with the launch of our new webinar programme.”