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Asleep on the job: newly launched Virgin Pulse Institute unveils sleep deprivation’s impact on employers

April 18, 2014 / Employee Engagement

insomnia-clockWe’re happy to share that this week, we launched the Virgin Pulse Institute, an evidence-based organization that puts research to work to help employees and companies thrive.

The Virgin Pulse Institute is led by our own Jennifer Turgiss, DrPH, MS, and was formed to help organizations and employers find scalable, data-driven, consumer-centric solutions to workforce issues organizations face today, and will look closely at issues like sleep, stress, nutrition and financial health and how they affect you and your workforce.

In tandem with the launch, the research report conducted jointly by Virgin Pulse Institute and vielife, “Asleep on the Job: The Causes and Consequences of Employees’ Disrupted Sleep and How Employers Can Help” was released.

We all know that if you don’t snooze, you lose. Lack of sleep has been called an “epidemic” by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is connected with car crashes, huge health risks, and disengaged employees. By leveraging the online sleep program offered by vielife, researchers were able to conduct qualitative and quantitative research on what causes employees’ sleep issues in the first place, the consequences of poor sleep, and offer tips on what employers can do to help. It reveals some startling statistics, including:

  • 76 percent of employees felt tired most days of the week
  • 40 percent of employees doze off during the day once per month
  • 30 percent of employees were unhappy or very unhappy with the quality or quantity of their sleep
  • 15 percent doze off during the day at least once per week to once per day

The report also reveals four themes that keep employees up in the first place: worry/stress, mental activity, physical discomfort and environmental disruptors. Of these themes, a host of factors kept people up at night, including:

  • Temperature too high or too low (85.2%)
  • Their partner (71.9%)
  • Unwanted noise (68.6%)
  • Light – too bright (52.8%)
  • Mattress (40%)
  • Young children (35.9%)
  • Medical condition that disturbs sleep (10.2%)

It also unveiled the affects employees feel from sleep deprivation, including a toll on their physical well-being, cognitive abilities and productivity, mood, and ability to manage stress. Across the board, employees said a lack of sleep left them feeling less focused at work, preventing them from performing at their peak.

“Our study made one thing clear: lack of sleep is crippling America’s workforce. Employers can’t turn a blind eye. Whether they offer an online sleep program, encourage employees to use vacation days, or provide other tools, employers must address sleep issues in order to create a thriving workforce and business,” said Dr. Turgiss.

“Not only will employees be more rested, but they’ll feel more supported by their employers, helping them perform better and become better able to engage in work and in life,” she added.

Click here to read the report and learn more about why employers supporting sleep programs increase employee productivity, and how these programs help employees feel more appreciated and supported.

For more information about the Virgin Pulse Institute, including ways you can collaborate, contact Institute@VirginPulse.com or visit http://virginpulse.com/about-us#institute.

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