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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in sleep deprivation

On the first Sunday in November, millions of Americans turned their clocks back one hour to mark the end of Daylight Saving Time, an annual practice actually rooted in transportation. Even though we “gained” an hour in the fall, the disruption to our sleep pattern can cause issues, and with 50 to 70 million U.S. adults already having sleep or wakefulness disorders, there will be many sleep-deprived individuals!

Sleep is extremely vital for health and well-being, including helping your brain work properly. Not getting enough sleep may lead to difficulty in decision making and solving problems, trouble controlling your emotions and behavior, and problems coping with change. Sleep deficiency has been linked to such health issues as increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Those known with sleep disorders may experience depression, suicidal thoughts and risk-taking behaviors. All that just by not getting enough ZZZZZZ’s!

Thinking about workplace safety and productivity, one study found insomnia causes the equivalent of 11.3 lost days of productivity every year. This amounts to more than $63 billion in lost productivity across the nation each year.

Having well rested employees has been shown to have many benefits:
• Limits procrastination – sleep deprivation directly impairs employees’ ability to maintain focus and make decisions
• Improves creativity and problem solving – lack of sleep can impair cognitive skills, including creative thinking and the ability to problem solve
• Enhances work performance – getting enough sleep has been linked to higher-level brain functions that help with memory, impulse control and retaining new information
• Increases workplace safety – sleepy employees are more likely to be involved in workplace accidents
• Reduces absenteeism – chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a variety of health issues, which then leads to employees taking days off
• Boosts morale – not getting enough sleep causes most people to be irritable, and on the other hand, those employees getting those crucial hours of sleep every night enjoy better mental and emotional well-being.

What can you do as an employer to help maintain better sleep throughout your workforce? Ensuring your employees are not being overworked, offering flexible work schedules, instructing employees to not check email or do work in the evenings, encouraging employees to take vacations and self-care days, and providing employee training on the importance of sleep.

Getting enough sleep helps your employees perform their best in every role and every aspect of the workplace! Well rested employees make happier and more productive workforce!

Clocks will spring forward on Sunday, March 11 as we begin Daylight Saving Time. Even though we welcome the bright mornings as a signal that winter is finally coming to an end, we do miss that lost hour of sleep and we might even have to deal with our body clock disruption.

Now you may think one hour of lost sleep isn’t much, but many of us deal with lack of sleep on a regular basis. The effects of fatigue are far-reaching and can have an adverse impact on all areas of our lives, including workplace safety.

March is Sleep Awareness Month, and it’s a good time to remind people that getting a good night’s sleep is a necessity. More than 43% of workers are sleep-deprived, and sleep deprivation and drowsiness on the job can be a major safety issue, especially in safety-critical positions that involve operating machinery, driving or other tasks that require alertness.

Adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but 63 percent of Americans reported their sleep needs are not being met each week. According to Circadian (link to website - http://www.circadian.com/), a global leader in providing 24/7 workforce performance and safety solutions for businesses that operate around the clock, sleep deprivation is frequently the root cause of decreased productivity, accidents, incidents and mistakes which cost companies billions of dollars each year.

Sleep deprived individuals are poor communicators, have decreased vigilance and slower response time, become distracted easily, and are more prone to engage in risky decision making. Interesting point is if you have four or more nights of less than seven hours of sleep per night, it can be the equivalent to a total night of sleep deprivation and that can affect your functioning for up to two weeks.

And what about operating machinery or driving while sleepy? Drowsy driving is impaired driving, and the National Safety Council research showed:
• You are three times more likely to be in a car crash if fatigued
• Losing even two hours of sleep is similar to the effect of having three beers
• Being awake for more than 20 hours is the equivalent of being legally drunk (22 hours of sleep deprivation results in neurobehavioral performance impairment that are comparable to a 0.08 percent blood alcohol level)

The loss of sleep is not only detrimental to workplace safety, it is a major player in employees’ overall health. Chronic sleep-deprivation causes depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses. It is estimated fatigue costs U.S. employers more than $136 billion a year in health-related lost productivity.

So, time to get some shut eye in the name of workplace safety and health!

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