Benefits

Sleep Study an Alarm for Employers

By Alexis Carpello

Nov. 3, 2017

Most employees aren’t alone when the alarm clock rings and they yearn for 10 more minutes of shuteye.

Studies show that 43 percent of working Americans don’t receive enough sleep each night, and 76 percent say that they feel tired at work, according to a survey by the National Safety Council.

Sleep is one of the three pillars of living a healthy lifestyle, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Seven or more hours per night is a healthy amount of sleep for people 18 to 60 years old, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Fatigue and sleep loss have pretty much always been a problem in the workforce,” said Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager of the fatigue initiative with the National safety Council. “I really feel like in the past 10 years employers are starting to realize that their employees happen to be less productive, don’t make as good of decisions [and] make mistakes.”

Restless nights don’t just harm employees but can cause employers millions of dollars annually, said one workplace expert. One employee alone can cost an employer more than $3,000 in health care costs each year.

“This research reinforces that sleepless nights hurt everyone,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, in a press release.

Providing little to no cost for screening and sleep wellness programs for employees not only helps employees’ overall health, but also aids in saving businesses money. Doing this isn’t only about the monetary aspect. Employees that sleep better will have a more productive day in the workplace, will have less accidents and most likely less days of work missed, experts say.

Alexis Carpello is a Workforce editorial intern. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com.

Alexis Carpello is a Workforce intern.

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