sleep workplace wellness

Workplace Wellness Can Help Employees Address Sleep Deficiencies, Increase Productivity

We have reported on the association between employee sleep with workplace health and economic outcomes.

We noted a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine looks at the “Association Between Employee Sleep With Workplace Health and Economic Outcomes.”

The study “examines health risks, medical conditions, and workplace economic outcomes associated with self-reported hours of sleep among employees.” And the report concluded: “Worksite wellness programs often address health risks and medical conditions and may benefit from incorporating sleep education.”

Now according to the New York Times, part of that sleep education may want to include naps at work. As the piece notes: “A growing field of occupational and psychological research is building the case for restfulness in pursuit of greater productivity.”

Indeed, the post notes a study previously published in Nature titled “The restorative effect of naps on perceptual deterioration.” Here researchers “tested human subjects four times in one day and found that with repeated, within-day testing, perceptual thresholds actually increased progressively across the four test sessions. This performance deterioration was prevented either by shifting the target stimuli to an untrained region of visual space or by having the subjects take a mid-day nap between the second and third sessions.

However, while the idea of napping at work may have significant merit, it also can be logistically challenging to pull off. Here’s where a well-run workplace wellness program can help shift a workplace’s culture and communicate to employees about how to manage the process.

According to the NYT, that process may include:

  • “Find a quiet, unoccupied space where you won’t be disturbed.”
  • “Try to make your area as dim as possible (or invest in a sleep mask you can keep in the office). Earplugs might help, too.”
  • “Aim for around 20 minutes. Any longer than that and you’re likely to wake up with sleep inertia, which will leave you even groggier than before.”