Lack of sleep can directly affect health

Author: wink news
Published: Updated:

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Sleep is something we all do, but a number of us don’t get enough of it.

It may be because of our jobs or lifestyle. It’s important to know there are some risks that go along with our lack of sleep that can directly affect our health. Dr. Jose Colon with Lee Physician Group was in the WINK News studio Tuesday morning to tell us more about the effects.

Fatigued workers are 70 percent more likely to be involved in workplace accidents. Sleep-related fatigue costs business $150 billion a year in medical costs, absenteeism, workplace accidents, and lost productivity. Presenteeism (attending work while sick), accidents, poor judgment and absenteeism due to poor sleep health all have direct impacts on corporate productivity.

30 percent of US workers report nightly sleep durations of less than 6 hours, in contrast to 50 years ago when only 3 percent of the population reported such short sleep duration.

Fatigue vs. Alcohol
18 hours sustained wakefulness produces performance impairment = .05% BAC
24 hours of wakefulness = .10% BAC (Dawson & Reid, 1997; Williamson & Feyer, 2000).

Why We Are Not Sleeping?
Volitional sleep deprivation (work, lifestyle)
Poor sleep habits
Circadian factors (shift work)
Environmental disruptions
Untreated sleep problems/disorders
We don’t take sleep seriously!!!

How common are sleep disorders?
Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders
Greater in women
National Sleep Foundation 2010 Sleep in America Poll
25 percent reported that current work schedule does not permit sufficient sleep
1/3 reported they obtain less sleep on workdays than they need to function at their best

National Sleep Foundation Survey Poll 2009 found that:
During a week’s timeframe
65 percent have symptoms of insomnia
33 percent snore
15 percent have unpleasant feelings in their legs
During a month’s timeframe
29 percent fell asleep or became very sleepy at work
36 percent fell asleep while driving

What is optimal sleep duration?
Optimal: 7-9 hours per night
Since 1998, the average sleep duration for adults has decreased from 6 hours and 57 minutes to 6 hours and 40 minutes in 2009.
The # of Americans who report sleeping less than 6 hours a night jumped from 12 perecent to 20 percent.
Those reporting sleeping 8 hours or more dropped from 35 percent to 28 percent.
National Sleep Foundation, Sleep In America Poll, 2009.

How chronically sleep deprived is America?
The average American sleeps less than 7 hours
37 percent of adults say they are so tired during the day it interferes with daily activities
75 percent of adults experience at least one symptom of a sleep disorder a few nights a week or more
Over 1 in 10 Americans report having insufficient sleep or rest every day for the past 30 days (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System: BRFSS 2008)

Potential Benefits of Sleep Health to your Company and Employees

– For Employers:
Lower health care and disability costs
Enhanced employee productivity
Reduced absenteeism
Reduced presenteeism
Decreased rates of illness and injuries
Improved employee morale
Increased organizational commitment and creation of a culture of health

– For Employees:
Increased well-being, self-image and self esteem
Improved coping skills with stress
Improved health status
Lower costs for acute health issues
Improved job satisfaction
Safer and more supportive work environment

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