“New research suggests that sleep is vital in allowing each cell, in every organ of the body, to continue to function. No wonder sleep deprivation is such a highly effective form of torture” – The Sleep Health Foundation
I was recently involved in a conversation about people’s sleeping patterns with a number of my colleagues. Out of everyone in the group, I was the only one who seemed to constantly have a full night’s sleep. Some of the busiest bees in my workplace only get about 4 hours of sleep a night?! Astonished, I went back to my desk and decided to do some research.
Did you know that four in ten Australians are not getting enough sleep and that about half experience “pathologically high” levels of daytime sleepiness? Sleep does more than just make you feel better. It is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, weight and most importantly your mind. Sleep can improve your memory, boost your creativity and sharpen your attention. The benefits are unlimited.
A report conducted by the Sleep Health foundation found that a lack of sleep substantially reduces workplace productivity through absenteeism and presenteeism – reduced days at work and reduced productivity while at work. It is estimated that productivity losses as a result of inadequate sleep totalled an estimated $17.9 billion or $2,418 per person in 2016–17 alone. Alarmingly, the report suggests it is expected that more than one person will die every day from falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle or from industrial accidents as a result of a lack of sleep.
There are a number of ways employers can help mitigate the damaging consequences of sleep deprivation in the workplace including:
- Educating employees on the benefits of sleep, and the negative effects of not getting enough sleep.
- Ensuring that once employees are off the clock, they stay off the clock. Employers/managers should ensure they do not contact employees outside of work hours. By contacting an employee after hours, you are compromising their rest.
- Allowing the workplace to expose employees to as much natural light as possible to help fight daytime sleepiness.
- Educating employees on the benefits of switching away from blue light screens at night.
- Encouraging employees to be active and to live a healthy lifestyle.
- Conducting regular check-ins with employees to discuss workflow and any stresses in the workplace that could be effecting their sleep.
By implementing these relatively minor processes into your workplace, you can make a major impact in your employee’s lives, so is there really any reason not to? Sweet dreams everyone!