The dangers of sleep deprivation are well-documented—grogginess, short-temperedness, memory lapses, slower reaction time and many more.
Yet, according to Gallup, 40 percent of Americans get less than the minimum recommended seven hours of sleep each night.
That means there’s a good chance some of your employees are sleep deprived, and since lack of sleep reduces productivity and could pose a safety hazard, that should concern you.
Obviously, you can’t control what your employees do at home, but you can take steps to encourage them to get an adequate amount of sleep each night.
Three steps to help sleep-deprived employees
- Build awareness: At SFM, our safety and wellness committee simply asked employees to record their sleep times for four weeks, with the goal of helping them become more aware of how much (or little) they were typically sleeping. Anyone who participated was entered in a drawing for a prize.
- Adjust the work environment: In some cases, working conditions can contribute to employees’ poor sleep habits. Does your company culture encourage employees to be responding to email messages during off hours? Do employees have to take on extra shifts due to low staffing?
- Help employees learn: Offer educational opportunities to help employees learn how to get better quality sleep such as seminars at the office, articles on your intranet or informational email messages.
Sleep is often undervalued and overlooked. Hopefully, emphasizing the benefits of sleep at your workplace will make it a higher priority for your employees.
Further reading on the connection between sleep and work: