CAMBRIDGE, England, Oct. 15, 2020
CAMBRIDGE, England, Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists have long known the direct link between sleep and work performance, with a lack of quality shut-eye shown to cause fatigue, low energy and poor focus.
Now, groundbreaking research has shown that enjoying a better night's sleep and boosting your performance at work could be as simple as wearing a pair of blue light filtering glasses.
The findings appear in "The Effects of Blue-Light Filtration on Sleep and Work Outcomes", published online by the Journal of Applied Psychology, co-authored by Cristiano L Guarana, a management professor at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, and Christopher M. Barnes, a management professor at the University of Washington's Foster School of Business.
The study showed that workers who wore Swanwick's Night Swannies blue light blocking glasses in the evening before bed significantly improved the quality and quantity of their sleep, along with their effectiveness at work the next day. The researchers received no financial support or compensation for their work; the glasses were donated to research participants by Swanwick.
The company's Cambridge-based co-founder and CEO Tristan Swanwick said the study was an exciting development in sleep research. "We've known for a long time that our glasses are beneficial for sleep but this data clearly shows they also help you be more effective and motivated in a work environment."
Professor Barnes said the effects of blue light exposure on sleep was problematic due to the dependence of the workforce on technology such as computer screens, smartphones and tablets. Use of technology has significantly increased recently as people navigate remote working and online schooling during the pandemic.
"We're so screen-centric nowadays and that exposes us to quite a bit of blue light that undermines our ability to sleep," said Barnes. "But the study found that, by using these glasses a few hours before bedtime to filter out that light, both sleep quality and quantity were improved."
"We found that wearing blue-light filtering glasses is an effective intervention to improve sleep, work engagement, task performance and organizational citizenship behavior and reduced counterproductive work behavior," Professor Guarana added. "Wearing blue-light filtering glasses creates a form of physiologic darkness, thus improving both sleep quantity and quality."
The researchers conducted dual trials by tracking key work outcomes of 130 managers and customer service representatives at a multinational financial firm including task performance, work engagement, helping behavior and negative work behavior.
In the week they wore Night Swannies, customer service representatives:
In the parallel study, call center managers who wore Night Swannies:
Professor Barnes noted that the improvement in key employee metrics from such a cost-effective intervention was "astounding".
"We have clear evidence that all of those outcomes were improved merely by wearing these glasses," says Barnes. "Most organizations, if they had just made a large financial investment on an expensive performance improvement program and they got a 9% improvement (on task performance) as an outcome, they would be ecstatic."
"This study provides evidence of a very cost-effective means of improving employee sleep and work outcomes and the implied return on investment is gigantic," says Barnes. "I personally do not know of any other interventions that would be that powerful at that low of a cost."
Swanwick is an international health-tech company founded by Australian/American brothers, and former journalists turned entrepreneurs, James and Tristan Swanwick. The company's flagship Night Swannies are the only blue light blocking glasses scientifically proven by independent studies to measurably improve sleep and performance. Visit www.swanwicksleep.com