More Firms Viewing Better Sleep As Sound Investment

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OSAKA (Jiji Press) — An increasing number of Japanese companies are working to improve the quality of sleep of their workers, with some seeking business opportunities from “sleep technologies” for comfortable sleep.

In July, Rohto Pharmaceutical Co. launched an effort to improve the sleeping habits of 40 of its workers in three months.

In the project, a designated sheet-like device laid under the mattress measures how much time workers take to fall asleep and how long they are in deep sleep.

Giving scores to the sleep quality of workers, the company, based in Osaka, informs the workers of problems with their sleep and gives advice to them via smartphones.

A survey conducted by the company in October last year showed that over half of its workers had some dissatisfaction with their sleep and 60 percent said they felt strong drowsiness during daytime.

The project began as the company believes improving the sleep quality of workers is important to enhance productivity and manage workplace safety.

Increased attention to the quality of sleep by Japanese companies started around 2017, when the negative mental and physical effect of “sleep debt” became a hot topic.

Since November that year, Osaka-based soft drink maker Dydo Drinco Inc. has recommended that its workers drink coffee during lunch breaks and take naps of about 15 minutes.

Such naps help workers to wake with a clear mind, thanks to the alerting effects of caffeine, which appear after about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, more and more companies are boosting efforts to strengthen businesses related to sleep.

Electronics giant Panasonic Corp. is offering an air conditioner and lighting equipment that automatically adjusts temperatures and brightness in line with the user’s sleep rhythms, using artificial intelligence for such “sleep appliances.”

The company is also considering launching a service to realize a comfortable sleeping environment in cooperation with major bedclothes maker Nishikawa Co., with which Panasonic formed an alliance in March last year.


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