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What are you doing to tackle sleep deprivation in your business?

Feb 25 2013

Chronic sleep deprivation can do more than cause tiredness, it can have many negative effects. Employees with sleep problems may find it difficult to pay attention at work, struggle to remain alert and unable to concentrate.

But employees themselves aren’t the only ones suffering the consequences of sleepiness at work; it’s costing businesses money and, in some cases, may be putting the safety of others at risk.

Not only does a lack of sleep affect people’s health, which can cause an increase in sickness absence and have a negative impact on productivity, it can also be the cause of poor performance and injuries in the workplace.

Fact – sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep is not good for business. Clearly, it is a problem that needs to be addressed. Our research, of over 3,000 people finds the large majority of people score less than 50% on the drivers that help them achieve a good night’s sleep.

Although workers’ sleep habits are largely out of an employer’s control, businesses need to be aware of the effects of sleep deprivation and take a proactive approach to limit the impact of poor sleep, so that employees do their jobs more safely and efficiently.

There are companies, such as Google, that are taking action by providing sleep pods so employees who have to put in long hours sometimes or need to re-energise are allowed to take a power nap during their working day.

But it’s not just allocating enough time to sleep that determines how tired we feel or has an impact on performance, it’s also the ‘quality’ of sleep. And this is where education comes in. There are many factors that have an impact on the quality of sleep and these will depend on inpidual’s daily habits - only when we understand how to improve the quality of sleep can we improve it.

Whilst every workplace is different, there are a couple of simple steps that businesses can start with to limit the negative impact of sleep-deprivation:

1. Help employees identify the problem

To help employees understand whether sleep is a problem area for them and understand how to start addressing this get them to complete our free online health and energy check. For more information about this check click here.

2. Education

Forward thinking organisations, like eBay and TES Aviation, are taking a proactive approach and providing their staff with workshops where experts are on hand to offer sleep related advice.

To mark National Sleep Awareness I am holding free 30-minute webinar focusing on the secret to great sleep in 2013.

This is being held on the 6 March 2013, at 12pm. Places are limited so you will need to register in advance – please click here for more information.

Within this webinar I will cover:

  • The benefits of great sleep
  • Why your habits are the key to your sleep
  • The top seven habits to avoid for great sleep
  • The top seven best habits for great sleep

3. Culture of your organisation

Fatigue can affect more than the employee involved. It can create health and safety risks and have a negative impact on performance and productivity. It’s important to ensure you have the policies and procedures in place, within your organisation, so that employees are able to achieve a positive work-life balance and are able to take regular breaks throughout their working day to re-energise.