Economics of Sleep

Sleep's Impact on Workplace and Employee Safety

Sleep's Impact on Workplace and Employee Safety

Sleep deprivation can be a major predictor of accidents and injuries among fatigued workers and employees. Decision-making is compromised, and cognitive processes are slowed. The increased risk is stark and sobering.

That translates to wasteful injuries, but also lost productivity and potentially expensive health insurance and litigation costs. No sleep puts everyone involved at a higher risk for compromised safety. Dollar for dollar, employers who invest in the quality sleep of their employees come out on top.

Proving the Return On Investment and Productivity Gains of an Employee Sleep Wellness Program

Proving the Return On Investment and Productivity Gains of an Employee Sleep Wellness Program

Sleep has been described as the third pillar of health along with diet and exercise. Sleep serves numerous vital functions related to health and well-being. Unfortunately, poor or inadequate sleep is highly prevalent among Western adults.

Why Your Corporate Health Management Strategy Should Include A Sleep Program

Why Your Corporate Health Management Strategy Should Include A Sleep Program

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.

The Working Dead. Is Sleep Deprivation Turning Your Employees Into Zombies?

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”.

Sleep: The Key to Healthy, Productive and Safe Employees

Sleep: The Key to Healthy, Productive and Safe Employees

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.

Functional and Economic Impact of Sleep Loss and Sleep-Related Disorders

The public health consequences of sleep loss, night work, and sleep disorders are far from benign. Some of the most devastating human and environmental health disasters have been partially attributed to sleep loss and night shift work-related performance failures, including the tragedy at the Bhopal, India, chemical plant; the nuclear reactor meltdowns at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl; as well as the grounding of the Star Princess cruise ship and the Exxon Valdez oil tanker (NCSDS, 1994; NTSB, 1997; Moss and Sills, 1981; United States Senate Committee on Energy and National Resources, 1986; USNRC, 1987; Dinges et al., 1989). Each of these incidents not only cost millions of dollars to clean up, but also had a significant impact on the environment and the health of local communities.

Get Some Sleep, and Wake Up the G.D.P.

January is always a good month for behavioral economics: Few things illustrate self-control as vividly as New Year’s resolutions. February is even better, though, because it lets us study why so many of those resolutions are broken.

But a more important question may involve a resolution that so many of us fail to make. It involves a commodity that nearly everybody needs more of, and our failure to address it arguably has as much impact on our well-being as inadequate exercise and unhealthy eating.

The problem is very simple: Many of us need more sleep.

Dreaming of More Creative, Productive Employees? Let Them Sleep In

“How did you sleep last night?”

We often ask our family members and house guests this question over breakfast. But should business leaders be just as concerned about how well—and how much—their employees are sleeping?

Research into the science of sleep has proven what most people figure out through life experience: When we don’t get enough shuteye, we’re not our best selves. We aren’t as alert, focused, or creative as we are after a restful night. Instead, we’re crankier, more impatient, and less enthusiastic—about both life and work.

Sleep Scientists Want Your Workdays to Start Later

A team of sleep scientists have an idea and I think we'd better hear them out: One way to ensure that adults get more sleep could be to focus on "delaying the morning start time of work," or at least making it more flexible. 10 a.m. seems reasonable, offers a paper published online this week in the journal SLEEP.

After analyzing results from 124,517 American adults on their sleep and work habits, as recorded in the American Time Use Surveys from 2003 to 2011, lead study author Dr. Mathias Basner of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and colleagues found an (unsurprising) association between earlier starting times for work or school and less time spent sleeping. "Results show that with every hour that work or educational training started later in the morning, sleep time increased by approximately 20 minutes," explains the press release. "Respondents slept an average of only 6 hours when starting work before or at 6 a.m. and 7:29 hours when starting work between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m."