From Nike to NASA, some of the biggest and most influential organizations in the world are recently realizing the importance of sleep. The culture of working around the clock and hustling hard without adequate time to rest and recharge is no longer glorified; we are now in the culture of self-care and sleep.
We’re not all early birds who work best first thing in the morning; sleep-shaming those who function better at 8 pm than 8 am is detrimental to the overall health of both a company and its employees.
Some of the other big names who have flipped their focus onto sleep and relaxation include Google, Huffington Post, and Samsung. We’re proud to join the movement - keep reading to find out more about how Bearaby is getting serious about protecting our employees’ sleep. After all, if anyone knows the power of a good night’s sleep (or nap), it’s us. Sleep better, feel better, do better!
Fighting Burnout, One Nap At A Time
Many working professionals just assume that being tired for 5 days straight, week after week, is just part of being an adult - but it doesn’t have to be. Chronic fatigue at work can lead to more irritability, a lack of focus and creativity, and poor decision making.
Feeling overtired and overworked day after day can lead to prolonged stress, dissatisfaction at work, anxiety, depression, and an inevitable decline into burnout, which is now a commonplace term. Burnout can lead to both emotional and physical health issues, which can be prevented by getting enough sleep and reducing overall pressure to work around the clock.
Our work culture in America is much different from the rest of the world - just head over to Spain for their mid-day siestas or to Italy for their early afternoon riposo naps and leisurely lunches. While closing up shops and offices for 2 hours of the workday may not be feasible for most businesses in our society, hopefully more will start to encourage better self-care and sleep practices to reduce the high amount of work-related burnout we are currently seeing.
Night Owls And Early Birds
Being a night owl or an early bird usually isn’t a choice you make, it’s biologically ingrained in you. While our circadian rhythms all follow a 24-hour cycle, they can be shifted to favor either the morning or the night, also known as our sleep chronotypes.
Our society tends to view early birds as productive go-getters, while those who sleep later and stay up later can be perceived as lazy or unmotivated. The fact is, that’s simply not true! Some of the most famous night owls include Barack Obama, Bob Dylan, Winston Churchill, and Charles Darwin. If you prefer to see midnight more than dawn, you’re in good company.
One study found that 20% of employees were early birds, also known as larks, who get their best work done in the hours just after sunrise, while another 20% fell into the night owl category. Honoring the biological differences between us can mean a huge improvement in productivity and overall satisfaction with work. One good way to support these circadian variances is by allowing remote work or varying start times that suit each employee.
Sleeping On The Job
Google is one of the main companies that is promoting a better sleep culture at their office headquarters, by installing futuristic-looking nap pods called EnergyPods that allow employees to take a snooze whenever they feel their productivity is dipping. The power of a power nap is undisputed - dozing off for 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to recharge your batteries without waking up feeling groggy.
Ever since Ariana Huffington collapsed from over-exhaustion and burnout 10 years ago, the founder of the Huffington Post has made their offices (now Huffington Post-AOL) sleep-friendly by allowing access to the ergonomic reclining EnergyPods that gently wake you with vibrations or lights. Ariana also founded Thrive Global, a startup dedicated to promoting self-care and wellness while preventing burnout.
Nike’s headquarters in Portland, Oregon has rooms where employees can nap, meditate, or just relax. They also let employees follow their sleep chronotype by allowing flexible start times. Ben & Jerry’s (most famous for giving employees 3 free pints of ice cream per day) also promotes a healthy sleep culture and has had dedicated nap rooms at its headquarters for over a decade.
Lastly, NASA has been experimenting with napping on the job as early as the 1990s, when they realized that productivity and alertness severely dropped down during times of fatigue. NASA’s research on astronauts found that just 26 minutes of sleep improved alertness by 54% and cognitive performance by 34%. The so-called “NASA nap” is now commonplace amongst airline pilots on long flight schedules.
Better Sleep At Bearaby
As a weighted blanket company, Bearaby is in a great position to weigh in (pun intended!) on improving company sleep culture. We’re getting serious about sleep culture internally by experimenting with ‘sleep stipends’. Each employee will get a certain number of hours per quarter which they can then spend on extra sleep. No questions will be asked and no shame will be placed if anyone wants to sleep in a little longer on any given day.
We believe that not everybody works on the same schedule, and someone who is wide awake and productive later in the day shouldn’t be penalized for the biological clock they were born with. No more sleep discrimination against our night owls! We want you, our customers, to have your best rest ever, and we want the same for our employees. Go take a nap, we’ll see you in twenty.
The Importance Of Sleep And The Companies Who Know It
Keep reading to find out more about how Bearaby is getting serious about protecting our employees’ sleep.
Chronically fatigued employees can lead to poor work performance, irritability, anxiety, depression, and burnout.
Many companies are adopting better sleep practices, like letting employees take naps at work, work remotely, or adjust their schedules to better honor their biological clocks.
Bearaby is experimenting with sleep stipends - our employees have a certain number of sleep-in hours they can use whenever they need some extra snoozes, no questions asked.
Did you know?
Sleep deprivation is thought to be one of the contributing factors to a number of massive global disasters, including the Challenger space shuttle explosion, the Chernobyl nuclear accident, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. If that isn’t enough reason to get more rest, we don’t know what is!