Good night's sleep boosts wellbeingGetting a good night’s sleep can be all that is needed to improve employee wellbeing, it has been stated.

Jessica Alexander, spokesperson for the Sleep Council, said people need to be aware of the benefits of getting plenty of sleep and also about how best to drift off and wind down when going to bed.

She commented: "Stress is one of the mind’s great sleep inhibitors. It stops the brain getting out of ‘awake’ mode and into ‘sleep’ mode. We need to relax and wind down and allow sleep to find us. If there is stress and worry in our heads, then that won’t happen."

Ms Alexander added that there are many different ways to drift off to sleep, with counting sheep good because it is a repetitive and mundane task that helps switch off the higher functions of the brain.

According to research carried out by the University of Warwick in collaboration with the Federico II University Medical School in Naples, Italy, people who sleep for less than six hours each night are 12 per cent more likely to die prematurely than those who get the recommended six to eight hours.