One crucial but often overlooked factor that significantly impacts employee performance is sleep. In Australia alone, 60% of adults experience poor quality sleep. The modern working environment often leads to the sacrifice of sleep to meet tight deadlines and ambitious targets. However, recent research from Australia sheds light on the undeniable link between sleep quality and enhanced workplace performance.  

The Impact of Sleep on Job Performance 

Studies have consistently shown that sleep deprivation leads to reduced cognitive function, impaired decision-making, and increased risk of workplace accidents. Sleep-deprived employees were almost twice as likely to experience accidents or injuries at work. This not only affects individual employees but also poses significant financial implications for the organisation in terms of increased healthcare costs and decreased productivity. 

Additionally, sleep is closely linked to learning and memory consolidation. Employees who get sufficient sleep are more likely to retain information and skills acquired during training programs, resulting in a more knowledgeable and skilled workforce. 

Improving Sleep Can Enhance Employee Wellbeing 

Sleep plays a crucial role in overall employee wellbeing, both physically and mentally. When employees lack sufficient rest, they are more prone to stress, anxiety, and mood swings, which can lead to a decrease in their overall job satisfaction. Here are some sleep strategies to start incorporating into your workplace: 

Promote Recovery: Educating employees about the importance of recovery and risk factors associated with decreased sleep encourages positive behaviour change. Organise workshops or webinars on sleep hygiene and provide resources that help employees establish healthy sleep habits. At Better Being, we run workshops on The Secrets and Science of Sleep, to find out more, book a meeting here!  

Optimise the Workspace for Rest: Consider implementing “rest zones” in the workplace where employees can take short power naps during breaks. Ensure that the office environment is conducive to sleep by controlling noise levels, offering comfortable seating, and providing dimmed lighting. 

Flexible Work Schedules: Whenever possible, offer flexible work hours to employees. This can allow individuals to align their work schedules with their natural circadian rhythms, leading to improved sleep quality and, in turn, heightened productivity during their most alert and focused hours. 

Tips for Employees to Improve Sleep and Performance 

Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This regular sleep pattern helps regulate the body’s internal clock, leading to better sleep quality. 

Limit Screen Time Before Bed: The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Disconnect from electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. 

Incorporate Relaxation Techniques: Mindfulness exercises, deep breathing, or gentle yoga can help you to unwind and reduce stress levels before bedtime. This can promote a more restful and rejuvenating sleep experience. 

Create a Sleep-Friendly Bedroom: Optimise your sleep environment by keeping the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. The best sleeping temperature is between 15-21 degrees Celsius. Investing in a comfortable mattress and pillows can also contribute to better sleep quality. Download our sleep hygiene guide here. 

Regular Physical Activity: Regular exercise during the days helps to improve sleep quality. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity.