CAUTION: Sleep Restriction Ahead

There is a chronic number of people who aren’t receiving enough sleep each night.

And FYI … 5-6 hours a night isn’t enough!

We have moved into the age where we are able to work 24/7. We can answer emails while at our child’s soccer game, we can reply to a text while brushing our teeth, and we can schedule a meeting before bed. This all feels convenient and time-saving, but in the end, it is interrupting our sleep.

Many people feel that they are being more productive and getting more accomplished by using the “extra” time to catch up but it’s actually working against us. By avoiding a full night’s rest (8 hours), we are hindering our daily work productivity. Studies have shown that people who work in a “sleep-restricted state” are similar to working drunk. We are less creative and less innovative when sleep deprived.

Studies show that 90% of companies offer wellness incentives that focus on good dietary and exercise habits. Unfortunately, very few offer incentives for a good night’s rest.

Aetna’s CEO, Mark Bertolini is looking to change this. He has developed an incentive plan for employees who regularly get 7+ hours of sleep each night. Imagine getting rewarded to sleep! The program pairs each participating employee with a Fitbit to track their sleep habits. The data is analyzed by a third party and presented to Aetna. When the data shows that employees get 7+ hours of sleep a night for 20 nights, they receive an extra $25 per night. That’s an extra $500 just to make sure you’re in bed at a reasonable hour!

Bertolini and his team have figured out that improved sleep is equivalent to an average of 69 extra minutes of productivity per month. While this may not sound like a lot, think about it if there were hundreds of employees each getting 69 extra minutes of work accomplished! That turns out to be quite a lot!

Tune in next week to find out some interesting facts about sleep!