Healthy Living

Taking a Nap Break Instead of a Coffee Break

Taking a Nap Break Instead of a Coffee Break

If you fail to get your 7.5 or 8 hours of sleep each night, you are jeopardizing your health. More companies are starting to realize this, and they also realize that sleepy employees affect their bottom line. To combat this international problem with sleep, some companies are offering sleep seminars, on their time. But, there are some companies who are using less-conventional approaches to increase their employees' productivity.

Companies realized the benefits of their employees taking healthcare classes and some even use incentives to help their employees  lose weight, increase their physical activity, give up bad habits like smoking, and manage stress. However, according to sleep educator Sarah Moe, sleep is also part of the problem.

Sarah Moe founded the Minneapolis-based Sleep Health Specialists in 2015, and she states, “Sleep is the pillar of health that’s been ignored.” According to her, getting a good night’s sleep, promotes health and increases performance while on the job.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell you that inadequate sleep leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression. The National Safety Council went so far as to place an annual cost of sleep deprivation at $1.4 million for a mid-sized company with 1,000 employees.

Researchers at Harvard University include that insomnia is the reason that 274,000 workplace accidents and errors happen every year. According to the University of California, Berkeley, researchers found that a night of poor sleep also affects decision making.

Stefan Gingerich, the senior research analyst at Eagan-based StayWell, sees many employers who are creating a new culture of healthcare including services to manage and improve sleep habits. In 2016, StayWell provided a sleep learning series that includes a daily sleep challenge.

In 2017, Gingerich surveyed the sleeping habits of over 600,000 workers. The American Journal of Health Promotion published a survey in this journal that proved a clear relationship between sleep, productivity, and absenteeism.

Recommendations by the National Sleep Foundation state working adults get at least seven to nine hours of sleep a night. However, only 30% of the 600,000 participants received under six hours of sleep each night.

It's not just the bottom line

Sarah Moe understands the toll that not getting enough sleep at night can take on the body and mind. She is also a registered polysomnographic technologist who supervises sleep studies and diagnoses sleep orders. Moe says, “Businesses can break down the cost of fatigue in decreased productivity, higher absenteeism, and higher health care costs. When employees are sleep-deprived, they show up for work but aren’t fully engage team members.”

Moe’s company offerings include classes during lunch to interested parties in the workplace. She goes over the anatomy and physiology of sleep, types of sleep disorders, and how people can improve their sleep.

Sarah Moe goes on to say that attendees come up to her after the sleep presentations and are very excited to find out that it’s not normal to be exhausted all the time. These employees have hope that there is a way to fix sleep deprivation.

In addition to the bottom line, sleep studies help employees make better decisions and performance increases. Keith McCoy, Minneapolis market manager of OfficeTeam and Accountemps recognizes that in this tight labor market, a more supportive environment and wellness programs will help with recruitment and retention of employees.