Workplace interventions may improve sleep habits and duration for employees

May 13, 2019

DARIEN, IL - Simple workplace interventions, like educating employees about the importance of sleep and providing behavioral sleep strategies, may produce beneficial results, according to a new review.

Results show that in most studies, employer-sponsored efforts to encourage improved sleep hygiene and healthier habits have yielded improvements in sleep duration and sleep quality, as well as a decrease in self-reported sleepiness complaints. While the most common workplace interventions were educational programs emphasizing sleep hygiene or fatigue management, other interventions included napping at specific times before or after work, urging increased daytime activity levels, modifying workplace environmental characteristics such as lighting, and screening and referral for sleep disorders treatment.

"These studies suggest employer-sponsored efforts can improve sleep and sleep-related outcomes," said lead author Nancy S. Redeker, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, a Beatrice Renfield Term Professor of Nursing at the Yale School of Nursing in Orange, Connecticut. "Improving sleep also may lead to better quality of life and decreased absenteeism from work."

The review is published in the April 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. It was conducted by representatives of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Sleep Research Society (SRS) as part of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, a five-year cooperative agreement that concluded in 2018.

The authors offer 12 suggested workplace strategies that employers can implement to promote healthy sleep among their workforce. These strategies include:The authors conducted a systematic search and a selective narrative review of studies published from 1966 to December 2017. A total of 60 papers met the inclusion criteria and were included in the narrative review. Extracted information included types of workplaces, occupations of the workers, types of interventions, and sleep-related outcomes. Based on these characteristics, the authors identified three major categories of sleep interventions: educational interventions, interventions focused on health promotion behaviors that might improve sleep (e.g., physical activity), and interventions focused on workplace environmental modifications to promote sleep.

According to CDC data, only 65% of adults report getting the recommended 7 or more hours of sleep on a regular basis. Chronic insufficient sleep is estimated to cost the U.S. economy more than $410 billion annually due to workplace repercussions such as absenteeism and reduced productivity.

"Sleep deprivation contributes to accidents and injury in the workplace and other settings, as well as absenteeism and poor quality of life," said Redeker. "Our review suggests that providing strategies to improve sleep in workplace settings may improve sleep and possibly improve these outcomes."

"Well-rested, alert employees show better overall health and performance on the job," said co-author Claire C. Caruso, PhD, RN, FAAN, a research health scientist at the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati, Ohio. "Employers who institute workplace policies and systems to promote employees' sleep health have much to gain for their operations. The benefits may include reduced costs due to worker error and workers compensation insurance, and they will likely see improvements in job retention. Promoting employee sleep health will be in everyone's best interests: the employer, the worker, and the consumers of the organization's goods and services."

The authors encourage employers with personnel in safety-sensitive positions to promote health and safety in the workplace by implementing a fatigue risk management system. To provide assistance, NIOSH offers free educational resources on sleep, shift work, and fatigue tailored for employees and managers involved in aviation, emergency response, health care, railroads and trucking. NIOSH is developing additional online, educational resources for other types of workers.

The authors noted that one of the review's limitations was the heterogeneity of study designs, populations, and outcomes, which did not allow for a meta-analysis. They concluded that there is a pressing need for additional research on the effectiveness of workplace interventions to improve sleep.
-end-
Funding for this project was provided by the AASM, SRS, and CDC cooperative agreement 1U50DP004930-05. The findings and conclusions do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC or NIOSH.

To request a copy of, "Workplace Interventions to Promote Sleep Health and an Alert, Healthy Workforce," or to arrange an interview with the lead author or an AASM spokesperson, please contact Communications Coordinator Corinne Lederhouse at 630-737-9700, ext. 9366, or clederhouse@aasm.org.

The monthly, peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine is the official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a professional membership society that improves sleep health and promotes high quality, patient-centered care through advocacy, education, strategic research, and practice standards (aasm.org). The AASM encourages patients to talk to their doctor about sleep problems and visit SleepEducation.org for more information about sleep, including a searchable directory of AASM-accredited sleep centers.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Related Health Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Study evaluates new World Health Organization Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers
The World Health Organization developed the new Labor Care Guide to support clinicians in providing good quality, women-centered care during labor and childbirth.

Six ways primary care "medical homes" are lowering health care spending
New analysis of 394 U.S. primary care practices identifies the aspects of care delivery that are associated with lower health care spending and lower utilization of emergency care and hospital admissions.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

Spending on primary care vs. other US health care expenditures
National health care survey data were used to assess the amount of money spent on primary care relative to other areas of health care spending in the US from 2002 to 2016.

MU Health Care neurologist publishes guidance related to COVID-19 and stroke care
A University of Missouri Health Care neurologist has published more than 40 new recommendations for evaluating and treating stroke patients based on international research examining the link between stroke and novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Large federal program aimed at providing better health care underfunds primary care
Despite a mandate to help patients make better-informed health care decisions, a ten-year research program established under the Affordable Care Act has funded a relatively small number of studies that examine primary care, the setting where the majority of patients in the US receive treatment.

International medical graduates care for Medicare patients with greater health care needs
A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team indicates that internal medicine physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the US care for Medicare patients with more complex medical needs than those cared for by graduates of American medical schools.

The Lancet Global Health: Improved access to care not sufficient to improve health, as epidemic of poor quality care revealed
Of the 8.6 million deaths from conditions treatable by health care, poor-quality care is responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths per year -- more than deaths due to insufficient access to care (3.6 million) .

Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health.

High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services.

Read More: Health Care News and Health Care Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.