THE INS & OUTS OF SLEEP EMPLOYEES

With many employees seeing an increase in working hours with social pressure to have active leisure time, “I’m tired” is becoming a common response when asking someone how they are doing these days. It may sound innocent, but lack of quality sleep can be detrimental to safety and performance in the workplace. 

Sleep is the most important tool that the body has to recover and recharge. It is critical for energy conservation, tissue recovery, thermoregulation and cognitive performance. A theory on sleep loss by Horne (1993) states that the effects are mostly seen in the prefrontal cortex which controls language, creativity, executive functions, divergent thinking and exploring different solutions. All of which are crucial parts of many job responsibilities. 

Sleep loss can also increase safety hazards. Depending on the job this may mean: 

  • Driving impairments

  • Increased risk of errors: Commission is performing an act that leads to harm, while omission is not performing an expected task.

  • Greater risk-taking behavior: Research shows increased activation in the regions of the brain related to risky decision-making when an individual is sleep deprived. 

As an employer, there are ways to make it easier for employees to get quality sleep. Try these three tips to get started: 

  • Create a policy that strongly suggests employees stop work for the day by 6 p.m. This type of policy shows that you care about people not just as employees, but also as human beings. It gives them permission to unwind and take care of themselves. 

  • Offer flexible hours. Not everyone is a morning person. Some do their best work in the late mornings or afternoons. Offering your employees the flexibility to start their days between 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. may boost productivity for the night owls and allow them to get more rest before coming into work. 

  • Encourage multiple breaks throughout the day. Breaks are shown to get creative juices flowing, allowing for a fresh perspective, better focus and help replenishing mental resources.

Have questions or want more ideas? Set up a free strategy session today to see how Wellness Collective can support life transformation through health and happiness. Email us today at info@wellnesscollective.com!

Source: NCBI (link to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2656292/)



Katy Tombaugh