It’s Not a Dream – Aetna Is Paying Employees to Sleep More


No company wants employees sleeping on the job, but one health care leader is encouraging employees to snooze for success. Last week, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini revealed that the goal of one of his company’s wellness programs is to inspire employees to get more sleep. To encourage results, he’s willing to pay.

How it Works

Under Aetna’s program, employees who sleep more than seven hours a night for 20 consecutive nights, will be given $25 per night, up to a maximum of $500 per year. To help substantiate their sleep time, each participant is given a fitness tracker that reports how much sleep they’re getting on a nightly basis.

A Wake-Up Call About Poor Sleep Habits

Like many employers, Aetna knows that tying financial incentives to its wellness program pays off. In fact, a study from health insurer Cigna Corp. discovered that employee completion rates of biometric screenings increased from 20% to 55% when linked to financial rewards and/or penalties tied to specific health outcomes.

What’s exciting about Aetna’s approach is that, unlike most employers who focus their resources on fitness and weight management, Aetna is looking at another driver of productivity — employee sleep habits. Recent research shows that lack of sleep can lead to impaired decision-making, problem solving and creativity — all of which can lead to decreased engagement and more workplace accidents that can hurt a company’s bottom line.

Taking a Fresh Look at Wellness

Are you looking at all the avenues for incenting and educating employees about healthy lifestyle habits? While your company may not be ready to subsidize snoozing, you can still find creative ways to build a strong wellness culture and a more profitable business. Need ideas for encouraging employee health? Give us a call.