More than 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. This disorder is an involuntary cessation of breathing while sleeping, causing further health issues. One company experimented with how they could essentially sleep away their high medical bills. Still, others are adding insomnia to the list of disorders they want to correct. Getting a full night of rest can reduce the need for medical attention for dangerous conditions, ultimately saving money. It’s still up in the air whether other companies should follow suit and engage their employees in sleep programs. Here’s a look at the upside to a more sleep-forward focus.
How Does Sleep Affect Overall Health?
Sleep has become a wellness issue comparable to exercise and nutrition. Many businesses are approaching sleep the same way they do other aspects of employee health. As well as engaging in fitness challenges, employees should also mind their sleeping habits. While sleep programs have not yet proven effective, they should start making a positive difference. Naturally, companies immediately noticed better attendance and attentiveness after their employees’ sleep improved. One study found that truck drivers noticed the greatest amount of savings on medical care. It likely comes as a relief to drivers that some trucking companies have gotten involved in the sleep study programs. Recent polls show about 1 in 4 sizable companies offer programs to help their employees sleep better each night. More companies are in the process of adding such programs by 2021. Studies have shown that promoting a good night’s sleep is as important as monitoring blood sugar or cholesterol levels.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Most common in men over age 40, sleep apnea is a stoppage of oxygen flow during deep sleep. Chronic snoring is often a good indicator of sleep apnea. There is either a blockage of the airway or the brain fails to signal muscles to breathe. Because of this, the brain rouses the sleeper to signal breathing to resume. The interruption in sleep causes severe fatigue and even damaging health issues. Only a sleep study performed by a medical professional can determine the presence of sleep apnea. A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is used to correct this problem. While the machine is often difficult to get used to, patients have noticed improved sleep because of it. Untreated sleep apnea can cause cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and headaches.
How Do the Programs Work?
These programs will value employee privacy, allowing the employee to reveal to doctors and vendors their sleeping habits at their own discretion. Any information they give will not be available to their bosses, rather companies will receive overall data on their employees. They are working with certain medical facilities to test and then treat their employees for sleep apnea. This benefits many factory and trucking jobs because they are often required to test their employees if they are operating heavy machinery. Once a diagnosis is determined, a CPAP machine prescription is usually handed out. This machine fits over the nose/mouth and gently blows air into the airway to keep it open during sleep.
Getting the Most From Your Sleep
Course offerings online provide insight into bettering sleeping habits. Tips include room-darkening window shades and noise machines to cut out any sounds that may be keeping you awake.
People who completed an online course through one sleep study company reported gaining an average of 7 hours of sleep per week. Companies large and small are noticing better sleep has increased productivity among their employees. After you have had an adequate amount of rest, it is easier to get out of bed in the morning and conquer the day. Without the medical problems caused by lack of sleep, patients will experience fewer doctor visits and lower medical bills.
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