Insomnia: The Link between Exercise and Sleep

If you have ever suffered from insomnia you will know that it is an annoying and destructive sleep disorder that affects the quality and quantity of sleep in adults, as well as the quality of life. It can involve difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night, waking up too early in the morning, and difficulty going back to sleep after waking up.

Insomnia has numerous negative effects on those who suffer from it, such as causing one to feel fatigued and lethargic during the day, hence affecting concentration and productivity levels.

Insomnia is caused by many factors, such as stress, anxiety, depression, high workload or inactivity to name a few. Treating it, therefore, involves dealing with the root cause. For example, depression-induced insomnia might be treated with anti-depressants. 

Surprisingly, most of these insomnia-inducing factors can be corrected by increasing one’s activity levels and because most cases of insomnia are the result of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, exercise can help treat it because it helps get rid of, or improve the underlying condition. For example, a good workout can help eliminate stress and in the event that stress was the cause of insomnia, that insomnia would also go away.

The natural antidote

It is scientifically proven that regular exercise, when done consistently, can improve the quality of one’s sleep albeit gradually. A good, morning workout helps one feel energetic and alert throughout the day, resulting in one being productive. However, if your quality of sleep is poor, you may end up still feeling slow and non-energetic, not to mention lethargic.

However, adopting an overall healthy lifestyle comprised of healthy eating habits and regular exercise will definitely produce results. With time, the quality of sleep will get better and you’ll be able to sleep longer and stay asleep through the night.

Some of the benefits of good quality sleep include:

• Alertness

• High concentration levels

• High productivity levels

• Improved moods

• Decreased stress and anxiety

Some of the exercises that improve sleep are walking, jogging, swimming, skipping and dancing. The impact of aerobic exercise on sleep is reportedly much higher than that of any other form of exercise. Resistance training has been reported to have very little effect on sleep if any.


For people with chronic insomnia, it is best to plan your workout sessions in the evening. Researchers recommend that you work out at least 6 hours before bedtime. This will see you enjoy double results in that you will sleep better at night as a result of working out, and you will be highly productive and alert the next day as a result of a good night’s sleep.

While insomnia is not a condition that anyone wishes upon themselves, you can help prevent it by remaining physically active and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. For people whose work involves sitting a lot, you could incorporate physical activity into your routine by parking a block away from work and walking the rest of the way to the office, taking the stairs instead of the lift and going for a walk at lunchtime.

In conclusion

Building in regular exercise to your daily lifestyle is a healthy habit for both mind and body and will help strike the right balance between exercise and rest resulting in enhanced sleep patterns.

Pension Implications on UK's Current Working Population

The 20th century brought with it some remarkable changes and improvements, such as an increased life expectancy. This means most people are living to a ripe old age; hence an observed increase in UK’s ageing population. Due to the expected decrease in the working age people ratio to retired people ratio from 3.7:1 in 1999 to 2.1:1 in 2040, the dependency ratio might increase. Consequently, the working population will be required to pay higher taxes to the government, to better cater for the retired generation.

The current working generation will soon experience a larger burden due to the current spending pension commitments. And because the birth rate is already lower, the working population is already shrinking and is expected to be smaller in future. It is, however, a bit unrealistic to base all calculations on the retirement age of 65 years entirely, because the UK government is already increasing the age at which state pensions can be drawn.

Private sector pensions are also being increased by the UK government to make the ageing population more manageable and a cause for celebration rather than worry. However, as at now, the following there are complex pension considerations for the current working population:


The present working population might soon have to pay higher taxes to enable the government to sustain the ageing population. Higher taxes would result in the creation of disincentives to work and for firms to invest, consequently resulting in a considerable decrease in growth and productivity.


An increase in the dependency ratio. If the government fails to raise the retirement age, and the birth rate remains the same, there will be more people claiming retirement & pension benefits while the workforce continues to shrink. Fewer people will be paying income taxes, and the current working population will be over-burdened.


The government spending more on the ageing population’s health care and retirees’ pension benefits. For the UK government, which has debt issues, the increased spending commitments combined with the decreased tax revenues (because retirees pay lower income taxes, seeing as they’re not working) will take a toll on the government kitty. This burden will likely be transferred to the current working population.

Economic Growth.

If the current working population puts a larger percentage of their income into pension funds, the expected result would be a reduction in the savings available for better, more productive investments. This would in turn cause a reduction in economic growth.


An increasingly ageing population might soon result in a shortage of workers, causing the current working population to be overloaded with more work for the same pay. A shortage of employees would also lead to wage inflation. Companies may have to offer flexible packages to encourage more people to join the workforce. Unlike most of the other impacts, this one is positive.


A reduced birth rate may result from the foregoing circumstances. However, short term savings for Government (education etc) would mask a longer term issue of a diminishing workforce.

It is clear that there are many issues to be tackled in the next 30/40 years and having a solid pension plan in place is becoming a top priority. If you would like to talk these issues over with one of our friendly team please don’t hesitate to email us here with your contact details:

How Important Is A Good Travel Security Company?

While selecting a good travel security company, you need to choose one with the right approach and understanding of the global social-economic and political landscape. AKE is one such company. 

For starters, AKE has one of the most unique approaches to travel security. The company strives to develop highly integrated and tailored solutions for its clients. By so doing, it works directly with clients to support their immediate requirements, both small and large, while developing an improved awareness of security that will lead to reduced overall risk and greater operational efficiency over the long term. 

AKE’s Approach 

AKE approach to security is intelligent and developed from a highly detailed and insightful analysis of all probable and potential risks. The company strives to understand each individual and corporate client’s requirements and ethos. At the end of the day, therefore, you can rely on AKE to develop an effective and targeted strategy to your travel security.

Similarly, AKE views security as a primal business function which will contribute greatly to risk reduction. It also contributes to effective business operations, thereby improving the client’s bottom line. Therefore, security for AKE is much more than just a cost centre. 

How It Works

From the design and development through to the implementation and analysis of travel security procedures and policies, AKE strives to support its clients whenever they have to travel to hostile and remote environments. As a result, the company has had astounding success since it went into operation.

For more than 20 years now, AKE has developed and practised support for its clients on the global stage. The company always believes that no problem is insurmountable and no situation is too difficult for it. 

Therefore, you can depend on AKE to develop cutting-edge approaches to your crisis management issues based on the company’s experience in resolving those situations that are too difficult for others to handle. 

Overview of Global Conflict and Security: 2016

To better understand AKE’s process, one has to check the company’s analysis of global security and conflict. For 2016, the risks that clients with international operations are likely to encounter include, but are not limited to:

1. Europe and Russia

The Ukrainian war is likely to turn cold. While skirmishes on the ground will continue, the front lines are also likely to remain constant.

2. Sub-Saharan Africa

Economic instability is likely to exacerbate internal tensions. Similarly, it will increase the risks of political violence and terrorisms, especially in West Africa.

3. North Africa and the Middle East

Al-Qaeda, IS, and their affiliates will increase attacks in the region.

4. Asia

Although long term conflicts will continue, the region is likely to remain stable.

5. The Americas

Key travel security risks will mostly stem from strikes, rising levels of violence and civil unrest relating to organised crime. Terrorism will remain relatively low, particularly considering the potential signing of a finalising peace deal between the FARC and the Colombian government.

To protect yourself against all the above potential and actual threats, get in touch with AKE. The company has been providing travel security services to both individual and corporate clients for more than 20 years now. Therefore, you can rely on it to protect you from all risks whenever you, your loved ones, and your manpower travel to uncharted territory.

Anger in the workplace

Anger at work. We’ve all seen it. Most employees in an organisation will experience angry emotions for one reason or another and to one degree or another. It is how we handle it that is important.  

None of these can be achieved overnight but a naturally angry person has to start somewhere:

The reasons may range from a lost parking space, apathetic and inefficient colleagues, heavy workloads with tight headlines which cause causing stress and fear, not to mention conflicts between team members, alleged favouritism by supervisors and even family matters – they can all spill over to create conflict.

All in all, anger is known to cause tremendous effects in the workplace if not well managed. This article highlights some of the effects as well as suggestions about effective ways of handling it.

To begin with, listed below are some of the effects caused by this seemingly inevitable human tendency:

  • Anger can cause potential career issues and other problems at a personal level. If you are the kind of person who easily gets angry in your workplace even for minor reasons, then:
  • colleagues are likely to carry secret and even open grudges against you.
  • you’ll develop an undesirable reputation of being short-tempered and abrasive as well as being potentially incompetent under pressure.
  • people will avoid engaging with you and this will include customers, vendors and clients. If customers don’t want to talk to you then career trouble is just around the corner
  • you’re unlikely to be promoted or participate in crucial and high-profile projects due to your temperament.
  • you may develop long-term health issues.

According to some studies, unhealthy anger can affect your physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual health. 

Certain illnesses are also associated with anger including heart diseases, certain cancers, auto-immune diseases etc. (More of these health effects can be found here
It can cost business organisations immensely.

Studies show that anger in the workplace has devastating effects including a lot of time wasted in resolving conflicts.

When an employee harbours resentment and frustration, his/her productivity significantly reduces due to lack of energy and low morale. As a result, it’s very easy for the entire team to be affected which may lead to low morale and  interpersonal conflicts. This wastes much time not to mention the associated costs of staff absences, increased staff turnover, the resulting financial losses and even lawsuits arising from conflicts/violence in the workplace.


All these and more reduce an organisation’s productivity and output, proving extremely costly to the employer.

When an employee harbours resentment and frustration, his/her productivity significantly reduces due to lack of energy and low morale. As a result, it’s very easy for the entire team to be affected which may lead to low morale and  interpersonal conflicts. This wastes much time not to mention the associated costs of staff absences, increased staff turnover, the resulting financial losses and even lawsuits arising from conflicts/violence in the workplace. All these and more reduce an organisation’s productivity and output, proving extremely costly to the employer.

How to handle anger in the workplace.

Due to its numerous negative effects, knowing effective ways of handling anger then becomes vital. We have put together some suggestions for employees to help in handling it and alleviate its effects:

1. An individual’s role.


None of these can be achieved overnight but a naturally angry person has to start somewhere:

  • Try to change your mindset so that anger no longer becomes the natural reaction
  • Try to let go of any unmanageable anger. Often, you won’t be able to control situations, so it’s important to try not to become involved. To do this, ask yourself, "Is it possible for me to resolve whatever that's causing my anger?" If your answer is no, then just let it go. 
  • Consider your anger determining whether it really makes sense given the particular situation. 
  • Control your response to anger. Living healthily – if you involve yourself in constructive things like exercising, getting sufficient sleep, avoiding alcohol, eating a proper diet etc. You’re likely to respond to situations better when you’re healthier. 
  • Change your way of thinking by reminding yourself that being angry neither fixes anything nor makes you feel better.
  • Change environments that seem to make you angry if possible.
  • When anger strikes, you can divert it by listening to some favourite music, taking several deep breaths etc to calm it down. 
  • Change your way of thinking by reminding yourself that being angry neither fixes anything nor makes you feel better.
  • Change environments that seem to make you angry if possible.
  • When anger strikes, you can divert it by listening to some favourite music, taking several deep breaths etc to calm it down. 
Though some anger is inevitable, avoid it as much as possible. Rather than suppressing your feelings, improve your general outlook on life and yourself so there are fewer situations that can anger you.

Finally, you can also look for anger-management classes online and these would greatly help.
For more information on:

  • handling anger on a personal level, visit or
  • handling your employees’ anger if you’re a leader/supervisor or manager in the workplace, visit

2. The company’s role.

Essentially, a company should have an employee assistance programme to help employees see therapists for anger situations. 

Additionally, it should have other anger-management programmes that encourage accountability for anger related issues by its employees. 

Finally, it should have well-defined policies to do with anger matters that can help guide the employees, as well as the steps to be taken for any violations of the same.

Hopefully these are helpful steps towards having an anger-free workplace and please remember that our members have access to an advice line to enable them to discuss a whole range of issues – get in touch for more details.


4 surprising scientific tips to get to sleep faster

If you struggle with sleep, you probably know all the usual advice on deep breathing or avoiding screens before bed. Instead, here’s some proven methods that mightn’t be so familiar.

1. Try to stay awake This is classic reverse psychology. A Scottish study told one group of insomniacs to lie in bed and try to stay awake with their eyes open; and told another group to try to fall asleep as they normally would. After a two week trial, they found the eyes-open group fell asleep more easily. 

2. Get up. Yep, that’s right. If you’re tossing and turning too long, get up and do something quiet and calming, like reading a book in a chair, or colouring. This is a particularly good one if you’ve woken up in the middle of the night. “The key is to avoid associating your bed with being awake,” says Professor Richard Wiseman, of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. Then when you’re feeling sleepy, go to bed. 

3. Change your body temperature. The ideal body temperature for sleep is a slowly cooling one. Your body will naturally get sleepy as your temperature cools down at night. To encourage this, have a warm bath or shower before bed, and try to keep your room around 18 degrees Celsius. 

4. Plunge your face into cold water.  I know, it sounds like the worst thing in the world you can do to relax, especially when we’ve just told you to have a warm bath. But apparently, a thing called the Mammalian Dive Reflex means that plunging into water can help reset your nervous system.   

Our members receive monthly newsletters containing information like this. If you would like to find out how to become a member please contact us here. We look forward to talking with you.

Top tips for choosing the right international healthcare insurance

Choosing the right sort of international healthcare insurance policy can be influenced by a range of factors – we examine just a few for you to consider.

In order to determine the right international healthcare insurance, you need to assess your concerns and priorities as far as healthcare is concerned. Different insurance companies offer different levels of coverage. 

What is covered?

The main healthcare levels of coverage are usually: Maternity, Dental, Outpatient, and Hospitalisation cover. A healthcare plan with hospitalisation only will cater for major risks such as surgery, diseases, or accidents, that leave you hospitalised. This is the most significant level of healthcare plan, as it provides a way to cover for the typically expensive cost of hospitalisation. 

Generally, you’ll be provided with the Outpatient International Healthcare Insurance plan as an option. This will enable you to go and visit doctors (Specialists, GPs, and for prescribed medication). You may not need a healthcare insurance plan if the outpatient benefits in your country provide low cost visits to the doctors. 

Several international healthcare insurance plans also offer dental care as an option. This usually comes with a waiting period before you can start enjoying the dental coverage. There are some healthcare plans that cover major dental treatment as well. Usually, healthcare insurance plans that include orthodontic cover are the most expensive, which goes to show how expensive they are. 

Maternity cover, on the other hand, is quite different and a policy qualification period of between three and twelve months is often included. This level of cover can significantly increase your healthcare premiums so careful consideration should be made about whether or not it is necessary. 

Determine your priorities 

Figure out whether you want the most cost effective healthcare plan, or the best offer in your range. Relatively inexpensive insurance plans should cover hospitalisation, at the very least. But flexibility may also come in handy when choosing the right international healthcare insurance plan. A healthcare plan that includes dental or outpatient cover will provide more alternatives should you find yourself in an overseas country. For instance, expatriate doctor fees are usually higher as compared to local doctor fees. An insurance plan that includes outpatient cover will enable you to consult any doctor you want freely from any medical facility. 

Compare the International healthcare insurance plans 

Enquire for a healthcare insurance quote (which is usually free), and compare the available plans. When deciding over a wide range of international healthcare insurance plans, you may need to determine how much travel you are likely to do and how many different countries you will visit. A suitable insurance plan will enable you to move from one country to the other without having to reapply.

If you would like advice from experienced professionals please contact our friendly team at


The relevance of a healthy workforce

Corporate health is the collective well-being of company averaged by the health of its individual members. Successful business managers are always aware of the health of their employees.

A physically fit and active work force is a great asset to any corporation. We look at several reasons why employers should not underestimate the importance of the good health for their employees, education programmes and healthcare insurance.


Medical costs keep increasing with each year. For many staff, their health care insurance is covered by their employers. However, staff who are overweight, smoke or drink too much are at higher risk of lifestyle diseases and thus stand to incur more health care costs in the long run.

One of the ways to prevent this is by ensuring your staff keep fit. Education programmes and links with local fitness clubs will reduce the number of employees who regularly suffer from lifestyle illnesses and significant strain on company’s efficiency.


Numerous sick leaves always cost businesses money and time. A fit and healthy workforce means all available working hours will be fully utilized. It also reduces the need for temporary staff or colleagues covering that can often lead to important tasks being left half done or not completed at all.


Regular exercise is believed to reduce fatigue and increase energy levels. For a business manager, having keen, energetic staff is a tremendous boost to overall staff morale.

Conversely, the heavy smoker will be away from there place of work on a regular basis having a ‘smoking break’. Much working time can be lost due to smoking breaks and smokers will often be less efficient than their non smoking colleagues.

Education and encouragement to give up smoking is practiced in many workplaces and the benefits can be seen in increased productivity and a healthier workforce. 


For someone to maintain optimal fitness and health, a good level of commitment to achieving set goals is required. Employees with healthy bodies and minds have learned how to set goals and go about realizing them. This attitudes often spreads to all areas of their life including their jobs. An active labor force will always stay in line with company goals and missions. Additionally, they will always have ways to keep them motivated at all times.


The workplace tops the list of factors contributing to stress in individuals. Overweight staff and smokers will be less efficient because they often have higher stress levels. Employees with healthy bodies are much better at handling stressful situations. With impending deadlines, workload and set targets, there will always be no shortage of stress triggers in any company. With this in mind employers stand to benefit hugely from fit staff that better cope with dynamic conditions.

To ensure full mental and physical productivity employers must ensure wellness programs are put in place to help those employees who need it to become healthier and a more productive member of the team.


If you are in need of advice about how to approach better health in the workplace or where to go for a Healthcare Plan, then we can help, please email us here at: and one of our friendly team will contact you.


Safety Tips for Travelling Abroad


Being on the road/mid-air and in a foreign country makes you vulnerable, and an easy target for all sorts of mishaps. You should, therefore, always make safety a top priority when traveling abroad for business. Observe the following safety precautions to protect yourself and your belongings while on your trip whether it is for business or pleasure.

1.      Prepare for emergencies.

It is best always to hope for the best BUT prepare for the worst. After all, prevention is indeed better than cure. Therefore, prepare adequately for emergencies.

Emergency contacts.

Before you leave, ensure you programme your phone with contacts that you can call in case of an emergency. Find out the embassy and state department’s phone numbers and email addresses.

Medical coverage.

Find out whether your medical cover provides for oversees Medicare. If it doesn’t, get yourself traveller’s insurance just in case of an emergency medical occurrence.

Research on safety warnings.

Visit the UK Foreign Office’s website for advice or the US Department of State’s website and subscribe to travel warnings, alerts and updates regarding the country to which you’re traveling. Apply, also, for the free smart traveller enrolment program which allows you to give emergency contacts in case someone back home needs to be reached in an emergency situation. The program also lets you register your place of stay while abroad.

2.      Set yourself up for a pleasant stay.

Research on local laws.

Equip yourself with proper knowledge about the legislation of your destination country, to avoid being caught in unlawful situations. Get to find out about their traffic laws too, if you intend to rent/hire a car during your stay there.

Learn basic pleasantries.

Learn basic pleasantries like how to say thanks & sorry, or how to ask for directions in the local language. Also, find out what their customs are to avoid offending locals when you interact with them on your trip.

 Cell phone carrier.

Check to see whether your mobile carrier provides services to the country to which you’re travelling. If not, plan to either buy a pay-as-you-go phone or rent one while there. Skype is also a cheap option.

3.      Other essential tips.

Before travel:

         Charge your phone fully & pack it with its charger.

         Pack any prescription medication you’re taking.

Hotel security.

         Ensure that you stay at a hotel that has a security program in place.

         Have a hotel security guard accompany you to your rental car if late in the night.

         Avoid rooms which are ground floor and open onto the street.

These safety tips will go a long way in helping you stay safe on your business trip abroad however, if anything were to go wrong, did you check that you were fully insured before you left? We can help if you are unsure about insurance cover to certain destinations – just email us at: and one of our friendly team will contact you.

Stay safe.

Appointing a Pension Management Services Company in the UK

The reasons

A good pension plan is designed to ensure that the employee’s future is secured by the amount that they will as pension upon retirement. The amount that is deducted from the employee’s monthly salary, together with employer contributions under the workplace pension scheme, is supposed to enable them to enjoy a good quality lifestyle during their retirement years.

Unfortunately for many employees this has not always been the case. Some people waste their money paying into dormant pension schemes that fail to produce the required results. It is therefore very important for employers to ensure that you find a reliable pension service management company that have a good track record of achievement and know the market.

In 2012 the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCU) forced the pension providers to lower the forecast rates. This in turn led to the conservative rate dropping from 5% to 2% and the high growth forecast dropping from 9% to 8%.

The Issues

A BBC programme (Panorama) found out that some of the high street pension providers taking up to two thirds value from people’s pensions in commission and fees, which is inappropriate. It therefore follows that many workers in the United Kingdom face the risk of working a lifetime but having little money in retirement.

When you hire a trustworthy pension services management company there are many issues to consider and pitfalls to avoid. It is vital for any employer to consult with pension service providers that have a good reputation and cut links with any service provider that is deemed dormant or poor performers.

6 Considerations

Here are just but some of the factors that employers can be looking for to determine whether a pension service provider is viable or not. A good service provider should be able to: 

  • Track down all the previous pension payments for employees and transfer the pension scheme to one company.
  • Manage all the employees pension processing on their behalf.
  • Keep track of employees pension records and ensure all employee payments are processed accordingly
  • Follow up all retired employees pension claims and ensure they are paid
  • Find reliable pension service providers with the best forecast rates.
  • Link you with wealth management firms that are well regulated by FCA.

If you care about the welfare of your employees it is necessary to ensure that your pension plan service provider can meet all the above.

The most important and key factor is that the firm must be regulated by FCA since it is the only body that cares for employees welfare as much as pension is concerned. Further the firm must have a good and known reputation.

The Solution

For further information please follow this link to our partners for pension advice St. James’s Place Wealth Management – Warren House Chartered Financial Planners

Moving Overseas for Business Reasons.....

Increasing numbers of people go to work abroad as faster travel shrinks our world.

Working overseas to further a career has always happened and it is easier now than it ever has been to take advantage of the benefits to career progression that a willingness to develop yourself and your company abroad offers.

Taking such a step can be both daunting and exciting and when the day of the posting arrives you are bound to have some mixed emotions. You are facing a massive change to your way of life and your decision will have needed careful thought.

Proper planning is key and if you and your employer have taken account of all the issues that you may face then you will leave confident that you are fully prepared. Some personal aspects to consider are: 


  • How will the move affect you and your family and is your partner fully supportive? 
  • Will your family be going with you? 
  • Have you researched local schools? 
  • If they are not coming with you, how often will you get back to see them?


  •   Is your new salary and position sufficient compensation for inevitable personal sacrifice?
  • How long will you be away?
  • Have you researched your tax position?
  • Will you be paying tax abroad?
  • How much?
  • What are the affects to your pension – if any?
  • What is the healthcare situation in your destination?
  •   Is there a state system?
  •  Do you have healthcare insurance?

No matter how confident you are in your own ability to adapt to a change as significant as moving overseas, it is important you do not underestimate how stressful such a move could be for your family. This is especially true for young and teen-aged children.

If the company you work for has your living arrangements and transportation taken care of in advance, that's great.

However, what if they do not? 

  • Can you find somewhere to live quickly and easily? 
  • What about a vehicle?
  • Insurances?
  • Will your home country driving licence be sufficient in your country of destination?


  • Have you familiarised yourself with local customs, culture and etiquette as appropriate?
  • Do you speak the local language? 
  • How you will spend your time when you aren't working?
  • Where will you find like-minded people with whom you can connect?  

Moving to a different country at any age, especially if you've never been there before, can be both a little bit terrifying and totally exhilarating in equal parts.

Take the time to think your decision through before you set anything in stone. Perhaps talk to a few people who have moved overseas at some point in time. Pick their brains a little about what it was like and what exactly you should have in place before you go. 

 A thorough checklist will go a long way and give you piece of mind. Last but not least, don't forget to set some time aside to explore and enjoy the new country you've just arrived in.

Depending on the position you have moved overseas for, the adventure new experience may just be the best part of your posting abroad so embrace and enjoy!