Dan Roberts has been tired for what feels like his whole life. Between depression and anxiety, a packed work schedule, irregular eating habits, and a mind that's prone to racing when it should be drifting off, the 36-year-old is lucky to get more than four hours of shut-eye virtually every weeknight.
So during the day, "every minute feels like an hour," Roberts told BuzzFeed News. "You feel really sluggish and down, maybe not quite lucid and not quite yourself." Desperate, he started taking Benadryl. "Before you know it, one becomes two and two becomes three."
In the fall of 2015, he got reprieve in the form of Sleepio, a research-backed online sleep therapy and coaching platform from the company Big Health. While there's no shortage of sleep-tracking apps, Sleepio is targeting sleepy workers in particular. Employers like Boston Medical Center — where Roberts is a physical therapy assistant — have started offering it to their workers as a health benefit, much like they might provide gym discounts or medical screenings or on-site fitness classes. In corporate wellness, the next frontier may be your zzz's.
Employers generally support wellness programs because, the thinking goes, workers who are healthy and active tend to be more productive, miss less work, and incur lower health care costs. Some of these programs track data about their lifestyle and behavior, like weight, smoking habits, and steps.