Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan
Organisational Psychiatry and Psychology
Sleeping on the job & Occupational Health
The 2019 Ruth Alston
Memorial Lecture and Dinner
As we count down to the Silver Anniversary Lecture and Dinner in memory of Ruth Alston, we remember that It is 25 years since OH nurse leader and Honorary iOH member Cynthia Atwell OBE presented the first RAML in 1994, entitled “The business of occupational health”.
On behalf of your board, I am delighted to subsidise this year’s RAML as an additional memorial to Ruth Alston to make the event more accessible to everyone in these days of austerity.
The 2019 Ruth Alston Silver Anniversary Memorial Lecture and Dinner will be held on Tuesday 5th March 2019. Following the resounding success of last year’s celebrity speakers on neuro-diversity, we are privileged to have This Morning’s and SilentNight Beds’ sleep expert, Nerina Ramlakhan.
Whether you are managing cases where sleep is adding to health problems, or proactively planning ahead for next winter’s SAD season to reduce the impact of sleep deprivation on increased Christmas productivity demands, 2019 RAML is an essential update for you. Do you ask about sleep at every consultation? If not, what are the benefits of doing so for both you, the employer and your patient? Poor sleep has a dramatic effect on health and wellbeing and Sleep Hygiene is becoming one of the most important factors in Occupational Health practice. The Sleep Foundation reports that “Sleepiness is also thought to have played a role in some of the most devastating environmental health disasters in history”.
It will be held in the Oasis Suite of the Crowne Plaza Hotel during the 2-day Health and Wellbeing at Work event.
Ruth was an occupational health nurse who wholeheartedly believed in our speciality and always considered that we did not promote our role as well as we could. This was partly because we had not defined what our unique role was on the bigger stage of occupational health practice. As Alston once said, “OH nursing has a distinct lack of vision which leaves it far behind other professional groups.” Little did she know, when she was diagnosed with cancer while she was employed at the English National Board, that she would be one of the visionary names to stand the test of time more than a quarter of a century later.
While progress has been made, it is striking how this is as relevant today as in 1994 when Carol Cholerton, our non-executive Director and Founding President, gave her address.
Carol suggested a memorial lecture when Ruth knew she was dying. Ruth’s remit to Cholerton Carol was that RAML should reflect the contribution that OH nursing makes to corporate and community health. The Board put this at the centre of its considerations when we reviewed and updated objectives to be more inclusive of fellow health professionals working in OH. As part of our review, your board has been considering occupational health today?
RAML SILVER ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL OFFER
BOOK NOW to hear CELEBRITY guest speaker Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, author of Tired but Wired and the sleep expert for SilentNight beds. She also manages the ‘Sleep Matters’ section of the Silentnight website. In addition to running The Capio Nightingale Clinic she has previously run an auditorium session on ‘The Art of Happiness’ for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Our first speaker will be Dr Nerina Ramlakhan. She is a physiologist who has specialised in maximising individual and organisational performance for almost two decades exploring the impact of sleep deprivation in her blog. She also writes for a number of journals including Legal Hub, Occupational Health and Police Review Magazines.
Nerina’s work has recently been featured in New Scientist, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Sunday Express, The Evening Standard, The London Paper, Woman and Home, Healthy Living, Red and Psychologies Magazines. Most recently she has talked about power-napping on the Radio 2 Chris Evans show and has appeared on GMTV and CNN talking about technology addiction. Nerina is also the sleep advisor to the Silent Night bed company.
Nerina’s work with individuals and organisations includes motivational and leadership programmes, Wellness and Energy programmes, stress audits and risk assessments, return to work coaching following long-term sickness absence, burnout prevention and organisational Wellness surveys.
After completing her post-doctoral training and research into the effects of lifestyle interventions on the alleviation of mental disorders, she studied organisational psychiatry and psychology at Guys Hospital and set up organisational consultancy, workshop facilitation and coaching.
As the original founder of BUPA’s Corporate Wellbeing Solutions, she was a regular speaker at many City groups. Since April 2000, she has delivered consultancy via Equilibrium Solutions to various industries including sport (Chelsea Football Club), legal, insurance, accountancy, management consultancy, various sections of the police services, call-centres, investment banking, telecommunications, healthcare and pharmaceutical, oil, TV, defence, engineering and IT.
Nerina also works with the Capio Nightingale Psychiatric Hospital in London on their sleep, energy & physical health programmes that are designed to support mental wellbeing.
Although Nerina uses her academic background in physiology, philosophy and psychology to guide her teaching, her approach is highly practical. She has a strong belief that everyone can live a healthy and more fulfilling life by finding optimal energy and balance – even in these hectic times that we live in. Her work, both with individuals and organisations, is dedicated to helping people to create this balance and equilibrium.
On a personal level, Nerina is married, has a 9-year old daughter and in her spare time climbs, runs and practises yoga and meditation. She has written a book called ‘Tired But Wired’ which was released in June 2010 and is now widely available in bookstores and Amazon. Her book has been featured on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ show, Woman’s Hour (Radio 4) and the Steve Wright Show (Radio 2). Her book was released in the US in October 2010.
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan
Angus is a magician and mentalist who amazed our guest at the 2017 drinks reception with his magic and sleight of hand. He is exceptionally gifted at magic because of his ‘superpower’ – he has Autism. Last year Angus gave an eloquent and inspiring speech explaining how autism affects him and the employment challenges that he has had along the way.
Many people on the autism spectrum are likely to suffer from disturbed sleep patterns at some point in their lives.
Reasons for this could include:
- having difficulty settling, winding down and going to sleep.
- waking repeatedly during the night, or having difficulty getting back to sleep after waking up to go to the toilet.
- increased anxiety or an inability to relax causing insomnia.
- social cueing problems, where an autistic person doesn’t make the connection between others in the house going to bed and their own need to sleep.
- irregular secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep patterns, or having atypical circadian rhythms (body clock).
- neurological conditions such as epilepsy.
- sensory differences, such as increased sensitivity to blue light from smart phones, laptops and other screens, or sensitivity to certain sounds or white noise, which may be upsetting or distracting and keep them awake.
- problems caused by food allergies, which could cause gastrointestinal issues and discomfort, or increased sensitivity to caffeine or other stimulants, which can disturb sleep.
- hypersomnia – sleeping too much. Increased exhaustion could be caused by the additional stress autistic people experience in social situations.