March 02, 2016Back
The ABC's on Getting Zzz's
Sleep duration has long been understood to be important to all health, but is more recently bringing up the issue of worksite shift policies and their impact on employees’ sleep. Employers may now be more concerned how employees are spending their non-working hours as sleep can be a major contributor to numerous comorbidities. More than one third of the U.S. study respondents sleep less than seven hours, which may suggest a need for public awareness and education about sleep health.
“Sleeping less than seven hours is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke frequent mental distress and all-cause mortality. Insufficient sleep impairs cognitive performance, which can increase the likelihood of motor vehicle and other transportation accidents, industrial accidents, medical errors and loss of work productivity that could affect the wider community,” according to the study.
In addition to the results of this study, an estimated 83.6 million Americans sleep less than seven hours each night. Sleep duration was found to vary based on occupation, geographic region of the U.S. and age.
According to the study discussion, ways to promote better sleep include setting a pattern of going to bed at the same time each night and rising at the same time each morning; making sure that the bedroom environment is quiet, dark, relaxing, and neither too hot nor too cold; turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices, and distracting or light-emitting electronic devices from the bedroom; and avoiding large meals, nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine before bedtime.
Yong Liu, MD; Anne G. Wheaton, PhD; Daniel P. Chapman, PhD; et al.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:137–41