Just how much poor sleep costs us can seem a mystery. For one boss though, the knowledge that there is hidden pressure on profits, from employees who rob themselves of sleep, spurred him to action.
We instinctively know that we are less productive when we have poor sleep. The feeling of sluggishness and of not quite being on our game hangs over us during the day. We know that the quality of our decisions is diminished and our relationships are robbed of our ability to be fully present and focused.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the efforts of Mark Bertolini, chief executive officer of Connecticut-based health insurance company Aetna, to change employee’s sleep behaviour and how he is paying his staff to sleep.
“If [our staff] can prove they get 20 nights of sleep for seven hours or more in a row, we will give them $US25 a night, up $US500 a year,” said Mr Bertolini, who uses the wireless activity tracker Fitbit to monitor his employees’ sleep levels. “You can’t be prepared if you’re half-asleep,” he said, citing research that better sleep can lead to bigger profits. Working in collaboration with Duke University, Mr Bertolini said he had seen “69 minutes more a month of [worker] productivity on the part of us just investing in wellness and mindfulness[i]“.
Sleep hygiene, or the habits that help you get a good night’s sleep, are an important part of being well. Too often though, sleep hygiene is sacrificed in the constant whirl of activity, the presence of digital devices, pressure to succeed, fast-paced environments and too much to do with too little time.
Ominously, an inability to get to sleep, as well as trying to perform while suffering from a lack of sleep, can lead to self-medication using so-called ‘social drugs’ such as cigarettes or alcohol. While smokers can view smoking as a way to relax, nicotine is a stimulant. Equally, while drinking before bed may help you doze off, alcohol is a depressant drug that slows the workings of the nervous system and can cause disturbance to the rhythm of sleep patterns. So while it may help you get to sleep it can diminish the quality of sleep and mean you feel less refreshed when waking.
Addressing the sleep imbalance is a vital part of focusing on wellness and providing a proactive response to avoid significant health concerns developing. Comprehensive health checks can provided a structured approach to address dangerous self-medication while patented medical treatments can eliminate cravings for alcohol and other drugs.
At The Banyans, sleep hygiene is addressed holistically, through daytime activities including exercise, yoga and massage, the elimination of harmful toxins and stimulants, the use of whole, organic foods, and the opportunity for digital detox.
Whether the use of substances is beginning to cause concern, or overworked professionals need to refocus and rejuvenate, The Banyans provides Australia’s newest and most comprehensive health and wellness experience in a luxury residence.
With the comfort of an Australian location, and being supported by Australian qualified practitioners, The Banyans provides a recovery opportunity through a private luxury wellness residence. Designed for integrated restoration, and with an expert team of therapists, health practitioners and wellness coaches, The Banyans Health and Wellness Residence is a place where body and soul prosper in an environment of rest, wellness and inspired living.
Call us now on 1300 BANYAN (1300 226 926) or submit an online form for a confidential discussion about how you or someone you care about can benefit from The Banyans.