By: Geoff Gilman
Does not getting enough sleep and coming into work tired sound familiar?
It’s nothing new and pretty much everyone has experienced this. More than sixty million Americans, or approximately 1 in 3 adults, experience inadequate sleep that can interfere with their everyday lives.
A lack of sleep has been linked to many leading causes of death in the US and many healthcare experts are saying we have a sleep epidemic on our hands. Sleep is not only a problem for our health but it is also an issue for the economy. This sleep issue can be disastrous.
Below are some instances where sleep deprivation was a contributing factor to catastrophic results.
The actual number of deaths may never be known. Two people died in the explosion, 28 died from radiation poisoning, and 374 people were later diagnosed with radiation poisoning.
Three Mile Island
No one died, but this is considered to be the most serious nuclear incident on U.S Soil.
The Challenger Explosion
All of the crew died in this tragic accident and it was reported that some managers involved in the launch had only slept two hours before arriving to work at 1am that morning.
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
258,000 barrels of crude oil were spilled out and the result was disastrous for wildlife.
American Airlines Flight 1420 Crash
A commercial airline pilot overshot the landing and 11 people were killed including the captain.
In all of these situations, it has been determined that fatigue due to a lack of sleep played a role in the incidents that occurred. In some cases, there were other factors as well but common thread of sleep deprivation in these disasters cannot be ignored. In addition to these situations, sleep deprivation is a major cause of traffic accidents, medical errors and many other industrial incidents.
Every employer should think about this seriously
Sleep-deprived employees are common everywhere. As compared to their colleagues who get seven to nine hours of sleep, employees who sleep less than six hours per night:
That is a major economic loss and it could be hurting your business as well. More than just economic loss, it could be dangerous for your workplace. Employees who are lacking in sleep are more likely to get hurt in the workplace. As an employer, there are a few things you can do to help with your employees in preventing incidents that are linked to sleep deprivation. If you’re an employee suffering from a lack of sleep, there is much you can do to make your life better.
For employers looking to help ensure their employees are rested, here are three steps you can take.
If you are an employee, feel free to act on these steps for yourself and encourage them in your workplace.
Become more aware of the impact of sleep and its importance to our overall health. Learn the benefits of sleep and the consequences of not getting enough sleep. One simple step is to educate yourself. There are a multitude of resources available online that you can research through a simple google search.
Additionally, we have a wide range of articles available on how to create proper sleep habits and how to identify sleep disorders. Print out these articles or any resources you find that impact you and give them to your employees.
Start tracking your sleep and know how much you are sleeping. If you followed the first step, then you will start to learn how and why you need more than seven hours of sleep. With that, download our free tracker and find out how much sleep you get.
Employers: Print out this tracker and offer it to all your employees!
Take action and change things in your life by creating healthy sleep habits, otherwise known as sleep hygiene. Below is a list of seven habits you can change today and start getting the rest you need.
Employers: Print out these habits and give them to your employees.