The Connection Between Sleep Hygiene and Workplace Safety: A Comprehensive Guide for Employers

Unlock the science of sleep hygiene and how it impacts workplace performance and safety. Employers hold a vital role in prioritizing rest to boost productivity, enhance safety, reduce absenteeism, improve employee well-being, and enhance retention. Learn about strategies for creating a sleep-friendly work environment, providing education and resources, and implementing policies that support good sleep hygiene. By doing so, employers can cultivate a healthier, more productive, and safer work atmosphere, benefiting both employees and the bottom line. Explore the comprehensive guide now.
sleep hygiene

Sleep is a crucial aspect of our overall health and well-being, and it plays a vital role in our ability to function properly in our daily lives. However, the importance of sleep is often overlooked in the workplace, where employers and employees alike may prioritize productivity over rest. Still, in truth, productivity cannot occur without proper sleep. Poor sleep hygiene can significantly affect workplace safety, leading to increased accidents, errors, and decreased productivity. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the science of sleep hygiene, strategies for promoting good sleep habits in the workplace, and the role of managers and supervisors in prioritizing employee rest. By prioritizing good sleep hygiene, employers can create a safer and more productive work environment, improving employee well-being and better business outcomes.

The Science of Sleep Hygiene

The science of sleep hygiene is the study of the habits, behaviors, and environmental factors that affect the quality and duration of sleep. Good sleep hygiene refers to the practices and habits that promote restful and restorative sleep, while poor sleep hygiene refers to habits and behaviors that can lead to sleep disruptions and sleep disorders.

Sleep is imperative to restoring cognitive functions, so without it, workers’ reaction times slow, and their ability to make decisions is decreased. When individuals do not get enough sleep or experience poor-quality sleep, they may experience a range of negative consequences, including decreased productivity, impaired cognitive function, and increased risk of accidents and errors.

One’s diet, exercise, and stress can impact sleep quality. For example, caffeine close to bedtime will decrease the quality of one’s sleep. Additionally, regular physical activity can have a positive impact on your sleep hygiene by reducing your risk of obesity and other health conditions. Studies show that high levels of stress often interrupt sleep and prevent people from getting the recommended number of hours.

The Role of Employers in Promoting Good Sleep Hygiene

Employers have a crucial role in promoting good sleep hygiene among their employees. By prioritizing rest and reducing workplace stressors, employers can help employees improve their overall health and well-being, reduce the risk of accidents and errors, and increase productivity and job satisfaction.

Increased Productivity

Promoting sleep hygiene in the workplace can provide several benefits to employers. One of the most significant advantages is increased productivity. Studies show that lack of sleep significantly decreases productivity in the workplace. This loss of productivity costs employers $1,967 per year per employee. When well-rested, employees are more alert and focused, leading to increased productivity and efficiency in the workplace. This, in turn, can lead to better business outcomes and improved bottom-line results.

Improved Safety

Another critical benefit of promoting good sleep hygiene in the workplace is improved safety. Poor sleep hygiene can lead to accidents and errors in the workplace. Workers who experience sleep deprivation are 70% more likely to be involved in workplace accidents. Alternatively, promoting good sleep hygiene can reduce the risk of workplace accidents and improve overall safety. 

Reduced Absenteeism

In addition to these benefits, promoting good sleep hygiene can reduce absenteeism. Employees who experience sleep disturbances may be more likely to miss work due to fatigue and other sleep-related issues. By promoting good sleep hygiene, employers can improve attendance rates, leading to a more reliable and consistent workforce.

Employee Well-being

Perhaps most importantly, promoting sleep hygiene can improve employee well-being. Good sleep hygiene is essential for overall health and well-being, and by prioritizing rest, employers can help employees feel better physically and mentally. One study found a significant correlation between the quality of one’s sleep and job satisfaction. 

Employee Retention

Finally, promoting good sleep hygiene can also improve employee retention. Employees who feel supported and valued by their employers are likelier to stay with the company long-term. This will reduce the costs associated with recruiting and training new employees.

Promoting good sleep hygiene in the workplace can significantly benefit employers, leading to a healthier, safer, and more productive work environment.

Strategies for Promoting Good Sleep Hygiene in the Workplace

There are several strategies that employers can use to promote sleep hygiene in the workplace. Here are a few to start with.

  • Education and awareness campaigns. Using a workplace wellness program to promote sleep education can be a great way to get information into employees’ hands. Employers can provide information and resources to employees about the importance of sleep hygiene and the consequences of poor sleep. This can include training sessions, workshops, and informational materials such as brochures or posters.
  • Implementing policies and procedures that support good sleep hygiene. Workers often fail to get enough sleep because they are overworked or overstressed. Employers can establish policies and procedures encouraging employees to prioritize rest, such as setting limits on overtime and providing opportunities for breaks and rest periods during the workday.
  • Creating a “sleep-friendly” work environment. Employers can create a work environment that supports good sleep hygiene, such as providing comfortable seating, reducing noise and distractions, and ensuring appropriate lighting levels. This is not possible in every work environment, though. If work-day naps are not possible for your organization, try some tactics to reduce workplace stress so employees can go home and relax.
  • Providing access to resources for employees struggling with sleep issues. Approximately 50 million to 70 million Americans have some sleep disorder. Employers can offer resources to employees struggling with sleep issues, such as access to counseling or employee assistance programs or referrals to healthcare providers for sleep disorders.

By promoting good sleep hygiene in the workplace, employers can help employees improve their overall health and well-being, reduce the risk of accidents and errors, and increase productivity and job satisfaction.

How Can We Help?

Work Health Solutions offers comprehensive healthcare solutions for your medical needs. Our qualified team treats patients and employers alike and always provides top-quality service. We back our quality service with years of experience working with academic and research institutions, corporate healthcare, Fortune 25 companies, small governments, and local businesses. Reach out today with any questions about how we can assist you!

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Work Health Solutions

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Work Health Solutions is dedicated to preserving a safe work environment and improving existing programs and care for local, regional and national organizations.

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Dr. Michael Tenison

A series of notable accomplishments distinguish Dr. Michael Tenison’s career in medical operations and healthcare management:

  • Successfully led medical operations at a national healthcare provider, focusing on optimizing healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
  • Oversaw the regional medical practices in key markets like Oregon and Northern California, ensuring consistent, quality medical care and service delivery.
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Dr. Matt Feeley

Dr. Matt Feeley is a renowned figure in military aviation medicine, with a robust background in occupational and environmental medicine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

  • Former Naval Flight Surgeon, exemplifying his expertise in aerospace medicine and commitment to military health.
  • Served with distinction at NSA Bahrain and HSM-37, earning the COMPACFLT Flight Surgeon of the Year award for exceptional medical service.
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  • Proven track record as a dynamic leader, well-equipped to face the challenges in a fractional medical directorship role with innovative solutions.

Dr. Glen Cheng

A physician-attorney with a dedication to healthcare innovation, informatics, and digital health.

  • Currently spearheads employee health protection and promotion within the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System.
  • Trained in residency at Harvard, achieving board certification as a physician; also a licensed patent attorney with experience as FDA regulatory counsel.
  • Co-founded Acceleromics, a consulting firm providing clinical and regulatory guidance to digital health startups.

Erin Davis

 Chief Clinical Officer at Work Health Solutions, certified in Adult-Gerontology (AGNP-C) and Athletic Training (ATC).

  • Oversees clinical operations and ensures high clinical standards across the company’s national field staff.
  • Former Manager of Clinic Operations and Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner at Stanford University Occupational Health Center (SUOHC).
  • Specialized in treating occupational injuries and illnesses, and provided medical surveillance and travel medicine consults at Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Lab.
  • Dedicated to sports and occupational injury treatment and prevention.
  • Assistant Clinical Faculty at UCSF, mentoring students in clinical rotations within the Adult Gerontology and Occupational and Environmental Health Program.
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Dr. Robert Goldsmith

Expert in benefits design and onsite innovation with specialization in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Previous role as Executive Director for Employee Health at Novartis Services, Inc., leading health services and clinical support.
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  • Holds a medical degree from Albert Einstein College, an MPH from the University of Connecticut, and completed training at Greenwich Hospital and Yale-New Haven Medical Center.
  • Assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Vagelos School of Medicine, Columbia University.
  • Serves as a team physician for high school athletes in Stamford.
  • Published works on occupational health risks, primary prevention, and exercise-induced asthma.