Thank you, SleepHelp.org for contributing to our blog as a guest author.
Educating your employees about healthy sleep hygiene can benefit their lives and your business at the same time. Sleep affects physical, mental, and emotional health, all of which can affect employee satisfaction and performance. We’ve put together some of the specifics on how sleep can help your business. We’ve also included the basics of sleep hygiene to jump start ideas on how to educate employees about the benefits of sleep.
Improve Work Performance
Sleep is the brain’s time to cleanse and rejuvenate itself. There’s a special system in the brain called the glymphatic system that’s 90 percent more active while you sleep. This system flushes out waste that builds up through the regular course of the day. If that process doesn’t take place or gets cut short, it can affect response times and thinking skills.
While you sleep, your brain keeps running through new information. In fact, some studies have found that insight is far more likely to happen after a nap or a good night’s sleep. Consequently, sleep is vital to problem-solving and creative thinking.
Reduce Sick Days
Absenteeism costs businesses $225.8 billion each year. While those numbers include injuries, a significant amount of money could be saved by improving employee health. Sleep is essential to a healthy immune system.
While you sleep, the immune system recharges and redistributes T-cells, so you’re ready to fight infection the next day. Studies have shown that a single night of poor sleep can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system. Lack of sleep can also slow down the recovery process when you do get sick.
A proper night’s rest can go a long way to improve employee satisfaction because it promotes healthy, well-balanced emotions. Without enough rest, the brain’s emotional center becomes hyper-aware and overreactive to negative situations, thoughts, and feelings. The reasoning part of the brain usually helps balance these emotions. However, without enough rest, this part of the brain decreases activity.
The chances of irritability, aggression, and overall dissatisfaction are far more likely if employees are not getting enough rest. It could even affect employee relations with one another and customers.
Sleep Hygiene Basics
A few simple basics could make a big difference in your employees’ health, job satisfaction, and performance. The changes may seem small the benefits can be huge.
- Comfortable Mattress: Morning aches and pains can be reduced with a supportive mattress. Your weight and dominant sleep position affect your nighttime comfort. People over 230 pounds generally need more support than someone who weighs less than 150 pounds. Side sleepers need pressure relief on their shoulders and hips while stomach sleepers need more support to prevent the pelvis from sinking into the mattress. If you’re not on the market for a new mattress, a mattress topper is less expensive and can still relieve pressure points.
- Predictable Bedtime: The body relies on predictable patterns of behavior to correctly time the release of sleep hormones. A consistent bedtime on weekdays and weekends can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
- Bedtime Routine: Stress can be a major sleep disruptor. Bedtime routines help reduce tension and stress while signaling the brain to start the sleep cycle.
- Get Outside: Natural light suppresses sleep hormones during the day. That leaves them stocked and ready to go once the light fades. Plenty of time outside can help keep your sleep cycle on a regular time table. Plus, nature is great for reducing stress and anxiety.
You can provide accurate information to help your employees make better choices about their sleep. While it can help your bottom line, it can also improve employee satisfaction at work and home.