The importance of sleep and wellbeing in the office



As workplace stress and anxiety continues to increase, the importance of quality sleep is becoming increasingly critical for employers and organisations alike. SOMNEX | The Sleep Show, the first show dedicated to sleep health will bring together a variety of experts who specialise in sleep and wellbeing in the workplace. From sleep coaches working with major corporations such as Coca Cola and Next, to the Clinical Director of Occupational Health for BUPA UK, SOMNEX will delve into sleep in the workplace with selection of panels, workshops and keynote speeches.

Take a sneak peek at some of the top tips and insights from a selection of speakers who will be discussing the importance of sleep in the workplace at SOMNEX on 12th-14thOctober in London.

James Wilson, Sleep Behaviour and Environment Expert “The Sleep Geek”

Having worked with charities, football teams and global organisations including Coca Cola and Pret a Manger, Wilson continues to spread the message that if you sleep well your mental health will improve, relationships with colleagues will improve, and work will improve. Wilson’s work involves providing personalised seminars in the workplace as well as drop-in clinics for employees to ask about their own sleep problems.

“When it comes to the health of organisations, sleep has to be the foundation that their wellbeing strategy should be built upon. The impact of sleep on all aspects of our physical and emotional wellbeing, in terms of our mental health, our physical recovery, our ability to stick to healthy eating plans and exercise regimes means that a sleep programme, delivered in an engaging way, that offers participants an understanding of their sleep and easily achievable behavioural, environment and mindset changes, leads to an organisation with less accidents, less absence and a workforce that are more physically and emotionally resilient,” Wilson states.

Wilson recently ran a number of seminars with Westfield Health staff that were designed to help them understand their sleep better and to give them tools to make small, but significant, behavioural changes. Wilson also ran drop in clinics for those with real ingrained sleep issues. Some headline stats include:

  • 79% of employees have some sort of sleep issue
  • 53% feel tired most of the time
  • 38% have trouble concentrating
  • But only 13% have sought help from a medical professional.

So what is the solution? Wilson divulges his Top Tips for a Better Nights’ Sleep:

  • Start getting ready for bed at least an hour before sleeping
  • Reduce blue light exposure before bedtime
  • Ensure the sleeping environment is cool e.g. open the windows to allow a breeze
  • Ensure any television viewing is relaxing rather than stimulating
  • Understand your own sleep needs e.g. if someone is a hot sleeper then use a thinner duvet

Friday, 12th October. James Wilson will be conducting a workshop on how you go about developing sleep initiatives as an employer and what practical things you can do to increase awareness and education around sleep health. Wilson will also talk through the latest tools and tech available.

Nancy H. Rothstein, MBA, The Sleep Ambassador®, Director CIRCADIAN Corporate Sleep Programmes 

From millennials to baby boomers, employees are reporting that they cannot sustain the pace of our 24/7 culture. For employers, a well-rested employee, at any level, is an asset; good sleep is essential for optimising productivity and performance. “Research confirms that when leadership supports a sleep-friendly culture…both employer and employee reap the benefits,” Rothstein states. The need for corporate sleep programming is reflected at one Fortune 25 company; over 1,000 employees have chosen to engage in a 4-week, self-managed sleep improvement programme provided by outside experts and over 75% have reported an improvement in their sleep.

Friday, 12th October. Nancy will be doing a keynote, talking about the business of sleep and the opportunities it presents. She will also be moderating a panel on how employers are currently incorporating sleep as part of their wider health and wellness initiatives. 

Dr Jenny Leeser, Clinical Director of Occupational Health in BUPA UK

Working with BUPA clinicians to support customers’ occupational health programmes, Dr Leeser wants individuals and organisations to understand the negative impact that lack of sleep can have on mental health, workplace safety and productivity, and how important it is for workers to give their brain time to rest. “A lack of sleep can have a negative impact on employees’ ability to focus on large amounts of information or sustain their attention for prolonged periods…in the long-term, lack of sleep makes people more susceptible to chronic illnesses which can result in absence from work.”

Jenny’s top tips and recommendations to improve sleep quality include:

  • Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Avoid watching TV or using a laptop, tablet or mobile in bed

Friday 12th October, 13:00- 14:00. Jenny will be hosting the following mini workshop and Q&A, exploring the following topics:

Mini Workshop: Sleep, Work And Wellbeing – The Role Of The Employer

  • The productivity and performance consequences of poor sleep
  • The impact of poor sleep duration and quality
  • Tools and techniques to improve sleep quality
  • Factoring in shift work, clinical depression and other mental health issues
  • Embedding a sleep element into your health and wellbeing strategy
  • Addressing the ‘napping’ trend