Work

Why this company pays its workers to get a full night's rest 

USA, New Jersey, Elevated view of young woman sleeping in bed
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Most bosses know a good night's sleep will drastically improve their staff's job performance. But how many would bet good money on it? Here's one: Kazuhiko Moriyama.

The CEO and founder of Crazy Inc, a Japanese wedding organizer company, so strongly believes that well-rested workers are good for business that he pays employees to get a full night's rest, according to a Bloomberg report.

Workers who sleep at least six hours a night, for at least five days a week, are awarded points by the company. Each night's rest is tracked through an app that takes data from sensors in a special mattress for those who opt into the program. Points can be exchanged for food in the company's cafeteria, worth up to 64,000 yen annually (around $570 USD).

Japan's labor shortage and exhaustive work hours have made the country notorious for a phenomenon that Bloomberg dubs "death-from-overwork." With more than 92 percent of Japanese people over the age of 20 reporting that they aren't getting enough sleep, Moriyama is leading the charge to prioritize sleep in Japan.

"You have to protect workers' rights, otherwise the country itself will weaken," he tells Bloomberg, adding that happier lives lead to improved work performance.

"We want to show that companies of all types need to be better," Moriyama adds in OZY. "We are a creative industry and we are creating a new business standard."

Though individual needs vary, research suggests that the average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep for optimal health. Those who get less can find themselves struggling to focus and unable to think creatively. Sleep deprivation could even shave years off one's life.

Given the adverse effects of insufficient sleep on health and productivity, Moriyama's investment in his employees' well-being isn't too far-fetched. Poor sleep costs the U.S. economy around $411 billion a year, while Japan loses out on an estimated $138 billion annually, according to a 2016 Rand Corp analysis.

Besides the sleep stipend, Crazy Inc. also offers incentives that promote nutrition and exercise, along with child support for employees. "I eventually want to reach a million employees," explains Moriyama. "I want to do something that other people will think is crazy."

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