Aetna offers employees financial incentives to get enough sleep

Aetna is giving its employees an added incentive to reach their dreams: The company will pay them $500 to get a good night's sleep, according to an article from Louisville Business First.

The new program equips participants with fitness trackers that report on how much sleep the employees get. If they sleep more than seven hours a night for 20 nights in a row, they will be given $25 per night, up to a $500 per year maximum, the article says. The program is based on recent research that found that seven hours is the recommended amount of daily sleep, since cognitive function decreases greatly if the threshold isn't met.

Sleep is important to maintain employees' health, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini tells the publication, and he believes the initiative will affect the company positively in the long-run. "It's going to show up in our bottom line and the Street's confidence that we can do it quarter, after quarter, after quarter; year after year," he said.

This is not Aetna's first endeavor aimed at improving employee wellness. Last October, the company announced that its personalized program that targeted employees at high risk for metabolic syndrome saved it more than $600,000. It also has offered free yoga and meditation classes for workers.

Humana, the insurance giant that Aetna is currently trying to acquire, also has found success with its own wellness program, Humana Vitality--as a recent study indicated it helped increase employee productivity and decrease healthcare utilization.

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- here is the article