PJ days were fun in grade school, but could bringing the essence of a good slumber to the workplace benefit your employees’ health and on-the-job happiness?
The extensive list of health benefits tied to a proper night of rest is well-known and ranges from maintaining a healthy weight, enhancing brain power and lifting your mood. Quality sleep plays a central role in preventing an array of scary health issues – primarily the serious side effects of sleep loss, such as an increased risk of death.
However, stress is the lynchpin connecting sleep and the workplace.
Maintaining healthy sleep habits is crucial to your employees’ stress management and goes a long way toward encouraging positive team interaction. (Did you know that working near someone who is under stress can actually stress out other co-workers or teammates?)
One study looked at 5,000 employees and their sleep habits and found that those who were sleep-deprived perceived their workloads to be more demanding — and felt they had less control and less support — compared to their healthier teammates who logged more hours counting sheep. If your employees are getting enough sleep, they’re more likely to be satisfied with their job.
How can you show your employees you care about their sleep?
Here are some avenues for promoting sleep in your workplace to help your employees prioritize rest. (The National Sleep Foundation’s 2015 Sleep in America Poll shows that merely prioritizing sleep helped people get an additional 36 minutes of quality snooze time.)
- Begin with brains. Make sure your employees know the risk they run when they trim time from their night of sleep. Offer sleep education in the form of online courses or interactive learning tools that highlight the basics of sleep hygiene and possible sleep disorders.
- Instate nap pods. A study shows that daytime napping can help employees mitigate emotional distress, such as frustration and impulsivity, more effectively than those who forgo the snooze.
- Invite sleep specialists to demo for your employees. Find a local specialist who can share relaxation tips and some basic sleep education.
- Challenge your employees to sleep. Offer a monthlong sleep challenge paired with a wellness program incentive to your employees who log their nightly rest.
- Take it down a notch. A mini challenge series focused on sleep might be a great way to get your employees thinking about the important benefits of sleep before doing a challenge.
- Promote participation in a local sleep study. Connect with a nearby university or sleep center that is searching for study participants. Offer a benefit or a contest for those who volunteer –new memory foam pillows, anyone?
- Amp up excitement about sleeping. Getting loud about sleep sounds a little oxymoronic, but one of the easiest ways to educate your employees about the health risks tied to sleep loss is with entertaining communications.