Stop Hitting Snooze On The Importance Of Sleep
With 24/7 lifestyles and over 80 different sleep disorders, it’s probable that over 30% of people are affected by poor sleep. Poor sleep is generally defined as less than 7 hours of sleep at night, and its residual effects are the stuff of nightmares. It’s time to wake up to the value 7 to 8 hours of good sleep has on you.
An employee leaves work around 4pm to pick up the kids from practice. After dinner, it’s time to get the little ones to bed. The employee turns their attention to the emails that have been in their inbox since 4pm. The employee then stays up responding to emails until 10:30 pm and when it’s finally time to head to bed, one of the kids has trouble sleeping. Before the employees know it, their alarm goes off after only 6 hours of sleep.
This employee comes to work and now:
- They are sleep deprived and experience difficulties navigating through their day;
- They display symptoms of being irritable, impulsive, angry, stressed, depressed, less motivated, and anxious;
- Their altered states cause them to become slower at processing information and making decisions;
- They exhibit a lessened adaptability to changing environments; and
- They experience poor coping mechanisms.
Does this sound familiar?
The difficulties caused by poor sleep lead to higher incidences of sick leave and health issues reduced productivity at work and can lead to injuries, mistakes, and accidents in the workplace.
This is especially true for organizations that operate on multiple shifts. A study published in February 2017 evaluated the impact of sleep on a global financial services corporation for about 9000 employees, including shift workers. The study found a strong U-shaped relationship between health care costs, short-term disability, absenteeism, and presenteeism and the hours of sleep found among employees. Essentially, the less sleep reported, the more negative outcomes were present.
So what can you do?
Sleep is designed to recharge our bodies and to help us function at full capacity. It can help to view the importance of sleep and productivity like you view your smartphone’s battery levels.
Here are 3 suggestions to consider when evaluating sleep’s impact on you:
- Get to know your sleep habits. How many hours are you getting per night? Do you wake up feeling rested?
- Try a sleep challenge using wearable devices and apps to measure sleep stages and durations.
- Take the Health Assessment on Blue Connect. There are currently three questions surrounding sleep. For example, “How many hours to do you sleep on average per day?” Based on your responses, the portal will suggest learning opportunities to improve their health.
Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews Volume 50, March 2015, Pages 103-119, CELL Volume 161, Issue 7, 18 June 2015, Pages 1656-1667, Psychiatric Annals. 2016;46(7):381 https://doi.org/10.3928/00485713-20160520-01, Archivos de Bronconeumología, Volume 51, Issue 5, May 2015, Pages 213-218, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Volume 59, Issue 2, February 2017 Pages 177-183,  Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Volume 59, Issue 2, February 2017 Pages 177-183.