An Unexpected Worker Benefit

improve employee sleepEmployers can help improve both the duration and quality of workers’ sleep — and they don’t have to let them snooze on the job to do so.

Simple things like educating employees about the importance of good sleep hygiene can make a difference in how well workers sleep, according to a research review published in the April 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The review was conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Sleep Research Society and included 60 research papers published between 1966 and 2017, according to a May 14 Medical Xpress article.

“Results show that in most studies, employer-sponsored efforts to encourage improved sleep hygiene and healthier habits have yielded improvements in sleep duration and sleep quality, as well as a decrease in self-reported sleepiness complaints,” the Medical Xpress article said. “While the most common workplace interventions were educational programs emphasizing sleep hygiene or fatigue management, other interventions included napping at specific times before or after work, urging increased daytime activity levels, modifying workplace environmental characteristics such as lighting, and screening and referral for sleep disorders treatment.”

The review authors recommended several specific strategies employers can adopt to promote healthy sleep in their workforce:

Limit the number of hours employees work each day and through each seven-day period

Provide sleep education

Encourage short naps during work breaks

Establish fatigue risk management systems

Encourage workers with sleep problems to seek medical care or visit an accredited sleep center

Adjust the work environment to promote worker well-being and alertness.