A U.S. company is paying employees to sleep more. Staff at the insurance company Aetna will get $300 a year extra if they sleep at least seven hours a night. They will get just over a dollar for each night they sleep over seven hours. The idea is to improve employee performance. Human resources officials say employees work better if they sleep well. A workforce that is more rested means the company will perform better. Staff can record their sleep automatically using a wrist monitor, or manually record how long they have slept every night.
A number of studies warn that not sleeping enough can affect our ability to do our job. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine said that the average U.S. worker loses 11.3 working days of productivity a year from a lack of sleep. It estimates that the US economy loses $63.2 billion a year because workers do not sleep enough. A 2015 study in Europe found that staff who slept less than seven hours per night did much less work than workers who had eight or more hours of sleep. The staff at Aetna also receive extra pay if they do more exercise.