This Company Will Pay You $500 to Get More Sleep

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Aetna employees can earn up to $500 per year just by getting enough sleep at night.

It’s paying off for the health insurance company and its workers alike.

Mark Bertolini, Aetna chairman and CEO, told CNBC on Tuesday that since this program started last year, he’s seen “69 minutes more a month of [worker] productivity on the part of us just investing in wellness and mindfulness.”

The program encourages employees to get more sleep by offering $25 per night — up to $500 per year — if they prove they got at least seven hours of sleep per night for 20 nights in a row.

Workers prove they met the goal through various ways, such as the use of Fitbit fitness trackers.

Bertolini explains to CNBC:

“If we can make … business fundamentals better by investing in our people, then that’s going to show up in our revenue. It’s going to show up in our bottom line and [Wall] Street’s confidence that we can do it quarter, after quarter, after quarter; year after year.”

Aetna’s wellness program offerings also include yoga and meditation classes.

The New York Times reported last year that more than one-quarter of Aetna’s 50,000 workers had participated in at least one such class. The employees who had participated reported, on average:

  • A 28 percent reduction in their stress levels
  • A 20 percent improvement in sleep quality
  • A 19 percent reduction in pain

Bertolini started gradually introducing wellness initiatives after he became CEO in 2010. The effort stemmed from having seen yoga and meditation improve his own life.

Bertolini turned to alternative remedies after prescription pain medications barely made a difference in the constant pain he experienced after a near-fatal 2004 skiing accident damaged his spine, leaving his left arm useless.

He explained to the New York Times:

“Meditation is not about thinking about nothing. It’s about accepting what you think, giving reverence to it and letting it go. It’s losing the attachment to it. Same thing with pain.”

Could you use more sleep? Check out “18 Affordable Tips to Help You Sleep Like a Baby.”

Would you participate in a wellness program like this? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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