There are a number of connections between sleep and health that are not often discussed. If your body is healthy you are able to sleep soundly at night, and you will feel refreshed and energized in the morning. Sleep deprivation is often characterized by headaches, irritability, depression, decreased concentration, and feelings of exhaustion. Sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome can be successfully treated, and your general health and quality of life can improve significantly.
The amount of time spent working each day can have a profound effect on your overall health and sleep too. To help avoid sleep disorders, employees should take a look at their lifestyle and commit to making changes that reduce stress and boost the relaxation process. A good night’s rest is essential for healthy employee performance.
School start times and school term lengths have both been associated with poor sleep. Students who go to school later or stay later than other students at the same age in different schools are more likely to have unhealthy sleep habits. Policy changes have resulted in school start times being later, which may improve sleep quality and duration, but it also delayed students’ ability to become rested once they were on campus. A policy change that improves sleep quality may prevent unhealthy days from developing into unhealthy habits.
Being late for work is another factor that contributes to sleep deprivation. Many workers are now living longer than ever before in an effort to improve work productivity. This is obviously a good thing, but many workers are living beyond their means financially and may be suffering from insufficient sleep at night. Work-related sleep deprivation can cause a number of negative effects, including increased risk of injury on the job, reduced productivity and mistakes, and even more serious problems such as accidents and heart attacks. Avoiding work-related sleep deprivation should be high on a worker’s list of priorities.
Many employers have policies concerning smoking and drinking at work, and many have formal policies regarding health and wellness related issues. If you’re concerned about the connection between sleep and health, your employer should be happy to discuss the issues. Many employers already have policies in place to combat these issues. Perhaps your employer could make your hours more regular and offer a better break time. Giving your employees more opportunities to enjoy a healthy, good night’s sleep is certainly something that every employer should strive for.
Finally, there’s always more that can be done to improve sleep quality and quantity, such as the recently proposed policy changes regarding smoking and drinking. Changes in work schedules, better lighting and other workplace amenities, and promotions for a healthier work environment are all possible things to consider. The more you know about sleep-related health issues, the better you will be prepared to voice them to your employer and to other coworkers.