If your inventory of the Monday morning conference table summons up images of bleary-eyed employees pouring a third cup of coffee to stay awake, or blotting away the cold symptoms they’ve been unable to kick, it’s probably time to rethink your organizations’s health management strategies. And it’s probably time to include a sleep program.
Insomnia is the most prevalent of all sleep disorders. This is due in part to the general nature of the diagnosis. Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too early, or feeling generally unrefreshed the next day all fall under the insomnia umbrella. Another reason why insomnia is so common is because sleep is easily disrupted by many things such as stress, illness, or even travel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 81 million or ⅓ of American adults are chronically sleep deprived and this number is rising. The problem is so prevalent that the CDC has declared insufficient sleep a “public health epidemic”.
Who doesn’t love a fresh cup of coffee, a bubbling caffeinated soft drink, or steaming mug of green tea? All around the world, people drink caffeinated drinks as part of their daily routine. Since caffeine is a stimulant, many of us reach for caffeine first thing after waking up to help us feel energized and alert.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that signals the body it’s time for sleep. It is not regulated by the FDA and a wide variety of supplements are available. Before considering melatonin it’s important to consult with your physician to be sure you are a good candidate. Although it is naturally occurring, additional supplementation may be associated with some side effects. Safety in the elderly, those with heart disease, and in pregnancy / breastfeeding has not been fully established. Better safe than sorry, check with your doctor.
Cognitive Therapy, a component of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), is a type of psychotherapy. Cognitive Therapy focuses on ways you are thinking about a particular problem that might, in the long run, be making the problem worse. It involves exploring beliefs, attitudes, or perceptions you might hold that may be reinforcing the problem and then finding alternative ways of viewing the issue that can foster a more balanced perspective. This may in turn reduce your level of concern or anxiety. This is important because we sometimes have a tendency to assume the worst about things that are really bothering us which can render us less effective at managing them.
The next goal of the therapy is to then develop practical, workable strategies to help improve the situation. Through education and a number of mental techniques, Optisom's ProjectZ corporate sleep health solution offers an array of cognitive strategies that can help you adopt less negative thoughts and beliefs about sleep and insomnia.
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. In fact, the World Health Organization describes sleep as a basic human need. Without sleep, a person’s health, safety, quality of life, and performance become radically compromised. Decades ago, smoking cigarettes, overindulging in alcohol, driving without a seatbelt, and forgoing sunscreen were not only socially acceptable, but instead wryly celebrated as living life to the fullest.
While individual claims of “not needing sleep” or sleeping very little each night are still met with public approval, research now overwhelmingly demonstrates that insufficient sleep has drastic, negative impacts on health, safety, and human performance. Researchers have shown that enduring 24 hours without sleep, or a week of sleeping only four to five hours nightly, induces a physical, emotional, and cognitive impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.1%.
Modern culture sets unrealistic expectations for 24/7 stimulation, propelled by artificial stimulants and never-ending access to technology and globalized social networks. Extremely long workdays create an unhealthy cycle that involves overindulging, sleeping in, and sedentary weekend activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared insufficient sleep to be a public health epidemic.
One of the most common complaints I hear from my insomnia patients is “I can’t turn my mind off at night”! This is a very common problem and I’d estimate that about three quarters of the people I see in the sleep clinic suffer this to some degree. Whether we’re thinking about what’s happening the next day, worrying about big things like the health and welfare of our kids, or just random fleeting thoughts, the phenomenon of the overly active mind at night can really get in the way of falling asleep. Many patients have told me they wish there was a big switch in their head they could simply turn off at night. Unfortunately, such a simple switch hasn’t been invented yet.
A recently released case study by Optisom, creators of the ProjectZ Sleep Health Program, measured significant productivity gains for Hyatt Corporation employees.
Hyatt Corporation, a leading global hospitality service provider, deployed the ProjectZ Sleep Health Program to assist its employees with sleep health issues.