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Sleep And Meditation Resources Show Promise For Improving Employee Health

posted by AHIP

on December 10, 2018

It’s 10 o’clock in the morning, and you’ve already had your third—fourth?—cup of coffee. But somehow you’re still tired, and getting through all those emails is slow going.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone—and employers are starting to realize it. More and more, they’re starting to consider the importance of adequate rest as they look for opportunities to improve the health and well-being of their employees.

Research shows that sleep disturbances endanger the health of workers and may lead to lower productivity. That’s why some employers are investing in sleep and meditation apps for their employees.

Employers are working with the companies behind Headspace, Calm and Sleepio to offer employees more resources to sleep better and be more peaceful at work.

Headspace is a medication app that provides themed sessions and guided meditation. While, certain features are available free of charge for users, employers are partnering with the company to provide the full suite to their employees. A recent profile of Headspace found that Genentech—a biotechnology company—currently has more than 2,500 employees who use the app an average of four times every week. Google, LinkedIn, General Electric and Unilever also offer the app through their wellness programs. Research from Headspace has shown impressive results, including:

  • A 14% increase in focus after four weeks of using the app
  • A 32% decrease in stress after using the app for 30 days

Calm offers more than 100 guided meditations to help employees manage anxiety, lower stress and sleep better. The app is available to employees of 3M, PwC and other companies that have partnered to offer subscriptions.

Sleepio takes a personalized approach by allowing users to set goals, test their sleep and build a program to improve the amount of sleep they get. The app offers sleep improvement tips to users that match with their lifestyles and overall goals. The app has been featured in several clinical trials, including one that found it was more effective in helping people achieve healthy sleep than both placeboes and treatments.

Offering these sleep and meditation apps and other programs is just one-way employers innovate through their employer-provided coverage programs. For more examples of how employers are building better workplace wellness programs, read AHIP’s latest Coverage@Work research.