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Sleep:  Foundational to Health, Safety and Performance

 

World Health Organization (WHO) calls sleep "a basic human need", without which individual health, safety, quality of life and performance are radically compromised....

 

YET:  Sleep -- the third pillar of health and wellbeing -- is mostly missing from leading corporate wellness programs

 

Nearly half of working Americans report having sleep problems that affect their performance


Lack of Sleep:  Public Health Epidemic 

 

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared insufficient sleep to be a public health epidemic in the U.S.A.

 

30% of the population gets less than 6 hours of sleep nightly – with insomnia impacting 1 in 8 adults

 

  • Sleep supports essential brain and nervous system functions, allowing recovery from the stresses of daily life, and strengthens the body’s immune response to infection and inflammation
    • individuals sleeping less than 7 hours were nearly 3x likelier to suffer colds than those sleeping 8 hours or more

 

Research associates short sleep time with increased BMI, as sleep deprivation reduces ability to metabolize glucose as well as increasing appetite levels and stress hormones

  • Every hour of sleep less than 7 increases the odds of OBESITY by 5x – e.g., by causing consumption of 549 extra calories daily
  • Sleeping only 5 hours more than doubles the risk for DIABETES

Sleep promotes heart health – e.g., multiple studies show that:

 

Insomnia increases the risk of heart attack by 27 to 45%

 

Chronic insomnia sufferers have 3x the risk of heart failure

 

Sleep deprivation can damage mental health because sleep regulates the flow of brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, closely linked to mood and behavior

  • Employees who suffer from insomnia have a 10x higher risk for major DEPRESSION and ANXIETY

WorkPlace Culture vs. Health Science

 

“Cultural” approval of employees claims of “not needing much sleep” or getting by on 4-5 hours is a “biological impossibility’’ countered by research showing insufficient sleep having a major negative impact on health, safety and workplace performance.

  • Sleep deprivation itself reduces ability to self-assess performance
  • Sleeping 4 to 5 hours nightly for a week results in cognitive impairment equivalent to being legally intoxicated
  • Another study estimated productivity losses associated with fatigue at nearly $2000 per employee annually – and workers with high levels of fatigue were found to be 70% likelier to be involved in accidents 

“Every aspect of who you are as a human, every capability is degraded and impaired when you lose sleep.  What does that mean?  Your decision-making, reaction time, situational awareness, memory, communication are reduced by 20 to 50 per cent” 

Mark Rosekind

National Transportation Safety Board

 

 

WorkPlace Safety:  A huge sleep-related issue

 

CDC Survey:  200,000 workers in key industries

 

  • 40-50% sleeping less than 7 hours
  • Shift work schedules are a common thread in sleep-deprived workforces
  • Sleep-deprived workers are more than three times likelier to display unsafe behavior at work
  • Employees suffering fatigue are three times likelier to have accidents
    • Insomnia-related accidents cost 50% more than other accidents

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Short Sleep [click here]

Sleep <7 Hours [click here]

 

Sleep | Safety [click here]

Sleep | Alcohol [click here]

Sleep | Effective Leadership [click here]

 

Sleep | Health Risk Factors [click here]

Sleep | Chronic Health Conditions [click here]

 

CDC WorkPlace Health Brief [click here]

 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

 

    Harvard Medical School estimates $3200-$4000 of incremental annual healthcare costs per capita for unmanaged moderate-to-severe OSA:  National lost -time costs of associated absenteeism and workplace accidents range from $10 to $35 Billion.

 

 

Mission of the WorkPlace Center on Sleep Health & Wellness

is to establish sleep as a pillar of workplace health

alongside nutrition and movement

 

 

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  Insomnia: #1 WorkPlace Sleep Issue for Employers

 

"We were shocked by the enormous impact of insomnia....Americans still are going to their jobs but accomplishing less because they are tired.  In an information-based economy it is difficult to find a condition with a greater effect on productivity"  [read more]

 

Ronald C. Kessler, PhD, Harvard Medical School, Leader on the American Insomnia Survey

[download]

 

 

CHALLENGE:  Question Your Sleep Habits -- Test your knowledge!

[click here to take the survey]

 

 

Insomnia causes functional impairment at work because of:

  • Longer reaction times and slower processing speed
  • Lapses in attention, concentration and memory
  • Errors of omission on the job
  • Fatigue

 

Can't Sleep?  Take this simple questionnaire

[Download as a PDF and share with your work-teams

click here]

 

Symptoms of insomnia affect more than 70 million Americans: How Many of Your Employees are Affected? [full PDF here]

  • 1 in 8 adults have “severe” insomnia or sleep disturbance every night for 2 weeks or more
  • Incidence of insomnia is higher for shift workers (29% of the work force), older workers 55 and up (25% of the work force) and women (47% of the work force)

Employees diagnosed with insomnia have higher total medical and drug costs than workers generally:

  • Incremental medical and drug costs are $1500 annually – some of the difference because of the co-morbidities of insomnia with other chronic health conditions

The larger but less understood Economic Costs result from the impact of insomnia & Sleep Deprivation on lost time and reduced productivity at work:

  • Incremental costs of $550 annually because of absence from work due to sleep health issues - employees with severe insomnia miss work twice as often
  • Four times greater costs of $2300 in lost productivity annually from functional impairment, or “presenteeism,” while at work – equating to 7.8 days of lost time

Senior Management Notices WorkPlace Costs of Insomnia:

 

McKinsey Study on Organizational Cost of insufficient sleep

 

  • 70% of 200 business leaders recommended sleep management be taught like time management
  • this is an opening to imbed sleep into corporate health and wellness programs
  • another McKinsey Global Study finds the mental capacities needed for effective leadership are affected by sleep

 

Be in the "KNOW" for a Better Night's Sleep

Learning more about insomnia -- including:

  • When, where and how to find help
  • Advice for women with insomnia
  • How your doctor tests for insomnia
  • and much more:  [here]

 

What's Keeping You Awake?

The Importance of thoughts, exercise and "where you sleep"

More sleep facts  [here]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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