Why We Sleep – Time To Rethink Sleep At Workplace

I just finished reading absolutely amazing book “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker and I highly recommend it for everyone. Hopefully, this book may finally change perception of sleep in organizations.

I remember about 15 years ago in Moscow, while Russia was one of the faster growing emerging markets, there was this popular phrase – “Sleep is now out of fashion”. Unfortunately, to this day a lot of organizations still follow the same “sleep is out of fashion” mantra, frequently encouraging employees to work insanely long hours which directly interfere with sleep times.

With all the evidence presented in “Why We Sleep”, I hope we have a shot to change the views on sleep for good. Clear scientific evidences of today show that insufficient sleep results in poor health for employees, significantly reduced productivity for the business and charged emotional climate in the organizations. It is also important to mention that if insufficient sleep is not a one-time occasion but a trend, all the negative effects accumulate and multiply exponentially.

I believe it is time to put hard policies in place in organizations to make sure every employee gets enough time for sleep. Great to observe that certain companies are already making one step further which is allowing daily naps for their employees – something praised in the book.

Important to note that reasonable work hours and more sleep are actually good for business – yes, employees may put less formal hours, but remaining hours at work have much higher productivity, thus creating a net gain for the business. In the past, I frequently encountered recruiters and consultants struggling to make things work after 10 pm to no avail. I have also seen developers coding past midnight and frequently having to rework that whole code because the quality was so poor. Really, what is the point of all this low productivity and mistakes caused by sleep starvation? It is much cheaper to give people enough sleep time, increase productivity and improve morale and work climate at the same time.

I’m linking below this brilliant talk of Matthew Walker where he mentions a lot of points from the book:

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