Corporate America has long tried to help its employees stop smoking, eat healthier and get in better shape. More recently, companies have been rolling out ways to help them manage their finances. And now, more are making it their job to help workers get better sleep.

A growing awareness of the dangers of sleep deprivation on health – and its effect on insurance costs and worker productivity – is prompting companies to try to improve their employees’ rest.

Goldman Sachs has brought in sleep experts. Johnson & Johnson offers employees a digital health-coaching program for battling insomnia that involves an online sleep diary and relaxation videos for mobile devices. Google hosts “sleeposium” events.

Research out of Harvard has shown that, for the average worker, insomnia results in the loss of 11.3 days of productivity each year, or the equivalent of $2,280. As a nation, that represents a total loss of $63.2 billion.


Researchers also have found clear links between poor sleep and reduced quality of life on the job.

A study last year showed that people who monitored their smartphones for business reasons after 9 p.m. were more tired and less engaged the next day at work.

Others studies have unearthed a link between insomniac bosses and abusive behavior. And many have examined the correlations between lack of sleep and medical conditions such as dementia and diabetes.

As employers’ interest in the sleep habits of their office workers increases, a number of third-party providers are finding ways to capture that market. The corporate wellness provider Ceridian started including sleep coaches last year as part of its package for clients.

And the sleep diagnostic and treatment company SleepMed launched a nationwide health and wellness product for employers last year that screens workers for sleep disorders and gives them access to therapies.

Recently, the digital medicine company Big Health officially launched a program called Sleepio at Work, which provides employees a “sleep score” based on a questionnaire, creates a personalized sleep program and offers insomnia advice using cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.


James Maas, a former Cornell University psychologist who has delivered speeches on sleep at companies for years, says he has recently begun one-on-one counseling with executives about their sleep as follow-ups to his corporate presentations.

“They think sleep is a luxury,” Maas said.

Not only are executives seeking advice themselves, but they are increasingly the ones driving any organization-wide commitments.

According to sleep consultant Nancy Rothstein, more of the programs are “going through human resources and the C-suite. People are being stretched to work unreasonable hours, and it’s just not sustainable. There has to be a paradigm shift.”

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