Sleeping on the job was once considered taboo, but today, more companies are encouraging employees to take a mid-shift snooze. And it’s a wise practice: 29 percent of workers report falling asleep or becoming very sleepy at work, and a lack of sleep costs the United States $63 billion each year in lost productivity.
March is Sleep Awareness Month. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society determined that adults require at least 7 hours of sleep per day to promote optimal health. Short sleep duration (< 7 hours per day) has been linked to various negative health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression, as well as safety issues related to drowsy driving and injuries.
We all need it, even crave it, but many of us find it difficult to get the recommended amount for our health: it is sleep. Healthy People 2020, which outlines the national health goals for the next decade, recommends that adults get 7 or more hours of sleep each day.
Some senior business people skillfully and consciously manage their sleep, emerging refreshed and alert after crossing multiple time zones or working late into the night. Yet we all know caffeinated and careworn executives who, after hours of wakeful slumber, struggle to recall simple facts, seem disengaged and uninspired, lack patience with others, and can’t think through problems or reach clear-cut decisions.