Sleep Management: Help Improve Employee Wellbeing

In order to be able to operate at maximum capacity the body is reliant on a balance of food, sleep and exercise. For an overall healthy, happy and successful career your body needs to be taking in the correct calories, exercising regularly factoring in rest periods and sufficient sleep.

Within the work place promoting a healthy lifestyle through the benefits of a medical insurance policy can help towards retaining staff and increasing job satisfaction. General wellbeing awareness specifically around diet has been proven to be not only educational but beneficial too; certain foods have been proven to aid intelligence. Eating fish, berries, lean protein and walnuts will improve brain function, concentration and memory.

Research has also proven that the time meals are eaten, the quantity and high nutritional values has a positive impact on brain and body. A meal structure that consists of breakfast between 7 and 7.30am, lunch between 12.30 and 1pm and dinner between 6 and 6.30pm will provide enough fuel to the body to be able to maintain high energy levels through the day without over eating.

The amount of exercise the body has can also directly impact on brain function. Exercise can help de-stress and clear the mind as well as often boosting energy levels. Entrepreneur Richard Branson suggests ‘Exercise keeps the brain functioning well and I can achieve twice as much in a day by keeping fit’. Minor changes to a daily routine will improve productivity ie: going for a walk whilst on a break or between meetings.

Poor sleeping habits will have a negative impact on an employee’s efficiency and ability to deliberate at work. In the modern world of business, a poor work life balance can cause stress and a lack in performance levels. Athlete Usain Bolt said ‘Sleep is extremely important to me; I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body.’  Within the UK only 32% of employers have a structure in place within their business to control employee health and wellbeing through sleep management.

In the short term the Harvard Medical School have concluded that a lack of sleep can affect judgement, mood and the ability to learn and retrain information as well as increasing the risk of having a serious injury. Long term effects due to a lack of sleep can cause health problems such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and in some occasion’s death.

Within the work place a lack of sleep can cause employees’ performance to be insufficient, lacking in motivation and as a result become stressed and irritable. The risks of sleeping less, in order to work for a further hour or so, far outweigh the rewards and impacts on the following day.

It is important for employers to educate employees in the necessity of obtaining access to a quality sleep.  This can be through a sleep management programme, as part of their health and wellbeing strategy. Some businesses are introducing sleep pods in the work place or ensuring employees attend seminars on the dangers of lack of sleep. Warnings are also being issued as many employees get up for work early and yet still stay up late with the distractions of technology, whether it be from television, playing on online games, social media or over usage on a smart phone.

Within the transport industry it is vitality important for the company to have a sleep management programme. This is due to government laws regarding health and safety issues, as a number of road traffic accidents are caused by drivers, working anti-social shift hours, causing them to be tired and therefore not alert whilst driving. By Law, transport drivers have to take breaks and specific rest period’s in-between shifts. Transporters can drive for 4.5 hours with either a 15 minute break and then a 30 minute break or a 45 minute break all at once or work for 6 hours, with the same timed breaks. All transporters must have a maximum rest time of 11 hours, twice a week and 9 hours 3 times a week.

Having a health and wellbeing strategy within a company can directly help to motivate and retain employees. Often Employers promote their employee benefits but it is uncommon to include a sleep management programme – whereas encouraging advice on the correct amount of sleep can help to reduce stress and improve recovery from common illnesses within the workplace.

At BDHL we provide both private and corporate clients with total health care insurance. From starting up a new policy to maintaining or refreshing an existing policy – a member of the relationship team is always available to give relevant professional advice. We offer medical insurance, dental, cash plans, as well as group risk and Channel Islands or Globally specific health insurance.

Make BDHL your first call today +44(0)1892 891900