Cost of sleepiness too pricey to ignore

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PR campaign encourages employers to educate employees about the dangers of sleeplessness and its impact on workplace safety, productivity and health

windup toy woman Cost of sleepiness too pricey to ignoreGetting insufficient sleep and working while fatigued have become commonplace in the modern 24/7 world, with more than 37% of workers sleep deprived. Overworked and overtired employees experience cognitive declines and present employers with heightened safety risks and increased economic costs.

The National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, including partners the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Sleep Research Society and the National Safety Council, has launched the “Sleep Works for You” campaign, encouraging employers to help workers avoid fatigue and develop healthy sleep habits for long-term well-being.

“Working long hours and sleeping less than the recommended seven or more hours has become a badge of honor in many industries, despite evidence that proves a lack of sleep hurts productivity, safety and overall health,” says Ilene Rosen, president of the Academy of Sleep Medicine. “It is essential for employers to promote health and safety by creating a workplace culture that values the importance of sleep.”

The National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project encourages employers to promote sleep health in the workplace with steps:

  1. Learn about sleepiness in the workplace, its costs, its causes and how fatigue can lead to a higher rate of safety incidents.
  2. Educate employees on fatigue, sleep health and sleep disorders, as well as strategies to improve alertness on the job, as part of a comprehensive employee wellness program.
  3. Investigate the causes of fatigue and implement fatigue risk management as part of a safety management system.

“Nearly 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep problem, and nearly 60% of them have a chronic disease that can harm their overall health,” says Janet B. Croft, senior chronic disease epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of Population Health. “Lack of sleep and sleep disorders, including stops in breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), excessive daytime sleepiness (narcolepsy), restless leg syndrome and insomnia, are increasingly recognized as linked to chronic disease, including obesity, high blood pressure and cancer.”

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