Why sleep works

The Last Word

Kathy Thornton-Bias
President and chief operating officer, Verlo Mattress
301 N. Broadway, #300, Milwaukee
Industry: Mattresses and sleep products
Employees: 60 in corporate offices


Kathy Thornton-Bias is president and chief operating officer of Milwaukee-based Verlo Mattress. She says companies should implement a corporate sleep strategy to improve productivity.

“Each morning, I greet my staff by asking how they slept. This may sound odd, but not at Verlo. For almost 60 years, Verlo has focused on making the best mattresses possible because so much depends on a good night’s sleep.

“Sleep is the pathway to better health, productivity and performance. It affects our relationships, our thinking and our ability to problem-solve and reason. In short, sleep is the foundation of our overall wellbeing.

“Sadly, most people don’t get enough sleep. This is demonstrated in the workplace with employees who are TIRED:






“How can a company encourage well-rested employees? By launching a corporate sleep strategy. Consider this:

1. Rethink the red-eye.

Thinking of booking your staff on the red-eye to LA for a big presentation? Think again! Their lack of sleep will affect their performance and make them less effective. You want your team to be refreshed and focused.

2. Restock the break room.

Does your office kitchen look like the junk food aisle at the grocery store? Kick the caffeine, trans fats and sugar habit! For sustained energy, balance treats with protein- and nutrient-rich foods, like nuts, yogurt, fruit and whole grains. 

3. Sleep on the job.

Power naps have been proven to improve memory and creativity. Perhaps that’s why Google, Zappos and Ben & Jerry’s provide nap rooms for their employees. Create energized, high-performance teams, one nap at a time!

“Wake up, Milwaukee! Sleep better.”

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