Employers....Employees...Wake Up!!

HealthGal Health Guide

    Sleep is one of the most googled and discussed health conditions.  It's a topic in the news almost daily and it seems to affect everyone.  Apparently companies are not immune to the impact of sleep - or the lack of it - on their employees and therefore on their net productivity.  Well, according to a recent report, the average company loses about 2 ½ weeks of paid work from EVERYONE it employs.  Why? Because of sleep loss and insomnia.  The researchers in this study looked at 4 very different workforces: airline, pharmaceutical company, a manufacturer and a law firm (I wonder if frivolous lawsuits and sleep issues .....just wondering).

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    Over 4,000 employees answered questionnaires and it was evident from their answers that productivity, performance and safety were affected by sleep deficit.  It was obvious that if you don't sleep well - you're probably having concentration problems and your work is probably suffering as a consequence.  When you factor in dollar values to this issue - you could be talking about upwards of $54 million in losses to US companies yearly.  On a personal level, it also means many of us might be taking over-the-counter drugs and even prescription drugs without trying to get to the source of the problem.  Another finding was that many of these sleep deprived employees are 3-5 times more likely to suffer from depression too.  If there is any issue worthy of getting some priority attention it's your sleep!!


    Another news bulletin that may get you thinking reports that sleep deprived people are more likely to indulge in risk-taking behavior. Ahhh....this explains teenage behavior!! All kidding aside - when researchers looked at chronically sleep deprived people and tested them with, of all things, card games, they found that these people lost their ability to weigh decisions carefully and make sensible decisions.  The researchers felt that this could carry over to decisions that involve driving (do you know when you are too tired?), making financial decisions (are you balancing your budget or making risky gambles), and engaging in safe sex (no condom and do it anyway kind of attitude).  Certainly makes you want to think....and sleep.

Published On: June 24, 2008