Sleep Is a Company'south Problem

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 1:23 AM

Of course you would! However, that'south precisely what we're getting if we don't assistance our employees obtain a excellent night'south sleep every night. In her new book "The Sleep Revolution," Arianna Huffington presents compelling proof about how a destitute night'south sleep can have on performance.

Sleep Is a Company'south Problem

Would you mind if your employees showed up drunk to work every day? It'south such an absurd question it'south nearly laughable. Of course you would! However, that'south precisely what we're getting if we don't assistance our employees obtain a excellent night'south sleep every night.

In her new book "The Sleep Revolution," Arianna Huffington presents compelling proof about how a destitute night'south sleep can have on performance. Motor skills are dulled and reaction time is slow. It'south as if you're buzzed all the time.

Most company executives would declare that they're not responsible for helping how much sleep an employee gets -- that'south a personal issue. We at Following Leap perceive the opposite. We, love most companies, train our people in how to do their jobs so that they'll carry out better at their jobs. We don't expect them to memorise how to do their jobs on their own time. That makes sense. We get the same approach to helping our people be better at everything in their lives, better communicators, healthier eaters, physically fit and better sleepers, so that they'll grow as human beings and be much more effective (and happier) and work.

We've experimented with all sorts of ways to assistance our people grow. Simon Sinek mentioned us in his TED Speak as the company that doesn't fire people (our goal was to delete the sense of fear and dread every quarter or every year when we see at our numbers. It'south been an incredibly successful experiment, but that'south another article). We were also featured in the new book, "An Everyone Culture," from Harvard Business Review because of our obsession with our people first culture.

In true Following Leap fashion, when we look an opportunity to assistance our people grow, we start experimenting. In this case, we saw that as our leadership development programs grew (and people gained more responsibility), people couldn't sleep - they simply couldn't close their minds off. The dynamic was clear -- more senior, more responsibility... less sleep.

We tried nap rooms but found they didn't work. The availability of a welcoming bed didn't address the main problem of why staff members weren't able to sleep... they couldn't close their minds off.

In the latest six months we experimented to discover a different solution and we've presently rolled out a SLEEP CLASS across all of our offices: New York, Boston, San Francisco and London. We keep a daily thirty-minute class from two:30-3:00pm that's the impact of two hours of sleep.

We're sharing everything we've learned as we think it can assistance other companies.

THE PROBLEM:

A recent study on the Today Show talked about how less than one percent of people are "Elite Sleepers," people who can sleep for four hours and function love someone who's slept for eight. Unfortunately for the rest of us, we necessity seven-eight hours.

From a company perspective, we found that seven-eight hours of sleep is the realistic "Secure zone." However, many enter the danger zone (too small sleep) of five-six hours on a routine basis. Is this the person you'd wish doing necessary work in your company? Even worse, is this the boss you'd wish making decisions that impact the lives of so many others?

Being a technology company, we're data-oriented. We built a fitness portal where every employee tracks their workouts. We average over three workouts per person per week and what started with practically nobody using the gym is presently nearly a hundred percent. In the same portal, we asked a ordinary question: "How many hours of sleep did you obtain latest night?". We found that the company average was 6.3 hours of sleep per night. We also found that employees over 30 years elderly slept nearly one hr less than the younger employees. Even more troubling, was that the leadership team had the most erratic sleep patterns.

We found that most people struggle to either fall asleep or stay asleep in the center of the night. For all of the parents reading this, have you ever noticed how much easier it was to fall asleep and stay asleep before you'd kids? You probably didn't notice how much easier you slept before you became a leader, responsible for the lives of others. We found there is a powerful correlation between the crucibles of parenting and leadership. In both cases, you're presently responsible for more than yourself. The lives of others depend on you causing your mind to race in the center of the night thinking of your responsibilities.

Peter Chica, Following Jump'south Head of Wellness explains: "As we explored the areas of human health, we found insomnia to be a problem, particularly for our leadership team. I perceive responsible that people can't sleep, but you can't just prescribe Advil PM or Melatonin. It'south a different mindset than exercise and nutrition. Sleep is the most necessary in the triad of health. If you don't sleep, you can't exercise. If you don't sleep, you obtain a misleading sense of hunger, using additional calories to wake up. Companies invest in exercise and nutrition programs; it just makes sense to invest in sleep as well."

Safe zone of sleep: seven-eight hours. Danger zone: five -six hours. We needed to near the gap of two hours of sleep. That was the problem quantified.

OUR SOLUTION:

Sleep Class

five days a week;

2:30-3:00pm local time in New York, Boston, San Francisco and London;

Prompt start and end. (It doesn't finish at 3:05. It ends precisely at 3:00. And number one is allowed in at 2:31);

Every office, always there (consistency);

You walk in, lie on a matt and are given only two rules:

(one) Don't move;

(2) Don't fall asleep;

The class is called Yoga Nidra (yoga sleep), which is a combination of Yoga meets Meditation. An instructor, in a calming voice is using a distraction method to have you think of sunsets, sunrises, a ruddy ball, green grass, and any thousands of images that are distracting. It'south not that different from how you obtain a baby having a tantrum to stop by asking them a question "what color was the ball? where did it arrive from?"

Every instructor claimed that one hr of Yoga Nidra = four hours of sleep. It's keeping you in a theta state of sleep, that dream-like state right before you fall asleep, for the all period. As our NY office instructor Anne Koller describes, "Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation that sinks the brain into a state of consciousness called theta. The theta rhythm plays a large role in REM sleep, which is our most restful stage of sleeping."

I was skeptical. But the business and logical side of me thought if they're remotely right, this could've a profound impact in solving our sleep problem. We don't necessity to near a four-hour gap in sleep but we do necessity to near a two-hour gap. Thirty minutes was all we needed. Thirty minutes isn't that much time, maybe we attempt and exchange the time it takes to obtain an afternoon caffeine boost with this class.

We experimented with the title of the class as well. NapTime... skeptics. Meditation... skeptics. Yoga Nidra... skeptics. Sleep Class... spoke to everyone'south need. People started to attend.

The feedback was overwhelming. Peter Chica shares, "We saw dramatic changes in people. Some who do it daily, some do it when they necessity it -- just a few times each week. Engineers reported coding for hours straight without breaks. (I'm not an engineer, but apparently writing line after line of code without stopping is a huge deal)." People reported feeling more emotionally balanced, with these benefits extending to their families as well.

We faced other initial problems: people who said "I don't have a sleep problem" resisted. Secondly, it took some explaining for people to realize that not only is it appropriate to "sleep at work," but it was presently encouraged. It wasn't lazy or inappropriate to get this class, it actually took discipline and is remarkably beneficial.

Peter Chica shares: "We measure program success by adoption. Sleep class was adopted immediately. The fascinating thing is presently it's going viral: everyone does it and even friends and family ask to come. The early adopters were the program'south best salespeople. Presently we assistance employees and their loved ones with sleep. Our goal in wellness is to assistance friends, family and the community. This ties back to our goal as a company: 'modify the world by changing workplace culture.'"

On a personal level, I found that when I do throw and turn at night, it's helped to reduce my second stress of not being able to fall asleep by simply saying to myself "Thank god there is sleep class tomorrow. I just necessity to create it to 2:30." We're only beginning to realize the benefits of mindfulness that's also coming with a rested body and mind.

We host thousands of culture tours every year for individuals and organizations to memorise about Following Jump'south culture. One of the biggest requests we obtain from guests is to attempt our sleep program. People intuitively perceive they necessity it and it'll benefit them.

CONCLUSION:

We've learned a lot when it comes to building a high performance culture: Health Ignites Performance. So is sleep a Company'south problem worthy to address? According to the data, we obtain a resounding yes -- that it's a high return on investment.

Sleep Class... It works.

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