Sleep hygiene may be HR’s next big mental health push, as 58% of U.S. workers say they regularly struggle to get quality sleep

Addressing mental health at work has become a top priority for HR teams, who are implementing initiatives such as quiet rooms and on-site therapists to support employees. Recognizing the impact of sleep on mental well-being, HR teams are also considering ways to enhance employees' sleep quality. A survey by Headspace revealed that over half of U.S. adults struggle to get a restful night's sleep, with stress and financial pressures being the leading factors affecting sleep quality.

This issue is of concern to employers as well, as 72% of respondents reported decreased productivity following a poor night's sleep, with distractions, unmet goals, and sick days being common outcomes. Karan Singh, Headspace's chief people officer, highlights the significant impact of sleep deprivation on workplace performance, urging employers to address this issue. Interestingly, a quarter of respondents expressed a desire to improve their sleep as the primary way to enhance their mental and physical well-being, with 77% acknowledging the positive impact of consistent quality sleep on mental health.

Improving sleep quality can serve as a gateway for employees who may be hesitant to seek mental health care directly. Singh notes that providing resources for better sleep can be a lighter entry point to accessing care for mental well-being. In addition to offering sleep hygiene tools, HR leaders should focus on building a culture that minimizes stress, such as reducing after-hours work expectations.

Headspace's 2023 mental health report revealed that a large majority of employees have experienced moderate to extreme stress, with instability at work, overwhelming job expectations, and fear of not meeting expectations being the primary drivers of distress. Singh emphasizes the crucial role of HR leaders in shaping workplace culture, suggesting that a culture of constant email communication can lead to heightened stress and difficulty in achieving quality sleep.  

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