Businesses who help their staff to achieve better sleep patterns could see a positive impact on employees’ physical and mental health and the business as a whole, a specialist healthcare intermediary has advised.
Despite experts recommending people should have between seven to nine hours sleep each night, the average Briton gets just six hours and 19 minutes.
Evidence suggests a continual lack of sleep can seriously affect health, increasing the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
According to Towergate Health and Protection, hectic work schedules and pressure to meet deadlines can exacerbate the sleeplessness issue, with businesses not just experiencing presenteeism but “leavism” too – when workers use evenings, weekends and annual leave to get work done outside of office hours.
Brett Hill, distribution director at Towergate Health and Protection, said the always on culture can have a negative impact on people’s ability to switch off and get a good night’s sleep.
“Businesses need to ensure that employees take complete breaks from work, to mentally and physically recuperate and be reenergised for the next working day,” he said.
Hill suggested organising nutrition talks at work, helping employees to learn about food that will encourage better sleep and vice versa, and facilitating group exercise can help employees to establish healthier routines.
In addition, having staff trained in mental health can ensure that employees who are struggling have someone to turn to within the business.
“The good news is that there are plenty of things that employers can do to help staff achieve better sleep patterns – which can have a positive effect on them emotionally, physically and the business as a whole. From creating healthy work/life boundaries to signposting staff to additional support services available, good sleep needn’t be a distant dream,” said Hill.