According to recent research from the University of Warwick, a good night’s sleep is as beneficial to health and happiness as winning the lottery. The research suggests that if you sleep smarter by increasing the quality and quantity of sleep, our health and wellbeing can be significantly improved at very low cost.
It’s well documented that people reporting sleep issues are at greater risk from developing depression, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Not surprisingly, the research also found that a lack of sleep, poor quality of sleep and the use of sleep medication led to a worsening of both medical and emotional conditions. The impact on businesses is significant in terms of performance and absence management.
In addition, poor sleep patterns are known to impair judgement, cause slower reaction times, lead to greater errors, misperception of hazards and increased workplace accidents. A 2016 RAND Europe study estimated the effect of sleep deprivation on productivity and health was losing the UK up to £40 billion each year.
So what can your business do to sleep smarter and promote a good night’s sleep for the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff and workers?
- Promote good sleep hygiene along with healthy nutrition and exercise
- Encourage the taking of technology breaks during the working day
- Educate and inform people about sensible use of electronic devices in and outside work
- Design work spaces with good lighting, maximising natural daylight where possible
- Monitor long hours and overtime usage
- Seek flexible work options that focus on productivity rather than presenteeism
- Avoid contacting people out of hours and during holidays
- Experiment with different shift patterns that utilise overlapping teams
- Seek input and ideas from staff
If you are concerned about Device Addiction, please watch: Are you too Connected?