The big cost of little sleep

The big cost of little sleep

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The big cost of little sleep

How many hours of sleep do you get each night? Not enough, right?

Well you’re not alone. A new study from The Centers for Disease Control says more than a third of us aren’t getting enough sleep.

And it could be damaging your career, not to mention your health.

Lack of sleep is linked to obesity, depression, cardiovascular disease and diabetes (can we add chronic grumpiness?). It’s also linked to car accidents, medical errors and loss of productivity.

OK, who hasn’t gotten drowsy in a dull meeting right after lunch, or been dragging a little the morning after a big game? But some of the sleep-deprived aren’t making it to work at all. In fact, a recent Money magazine poll published in March showed 27% of workers at least occasionally call in sick just because they’re tired — and only 38% say they’ve never done that.

Money also reported those with insomnia symptoms pay nearly $500 more a year in medical costs. And those who get just a little more sleep are making a lot more money: just one more hour a week equates to $2,350 more in salary a year.

You could try taking a pill — and you wouldn’t be alone. Americans spend more than $400 million a year in over-the-counter sleep aids. That number has been growing, and it doesn’t even include prescription meds.

Or save your cash and try this: Turn off your electronics.

The National Sleep Foundation says most adults have at least one electronic device in their bedroom at night, and 68% have two or more. And the on switch is, well, on: 95% say they use a computer, video game, TV or cell phone at least a few nights a week within an hour of bedtime.

While answering that one last email might seem productive you’re actually tricking your brain. The light from these devices reduces melatonin and interferes with circadian rhythms that regulate sleep patterns. That makes it harder to fall asleep and to sleep deeply.

So while we’re glad you’re visiting WorkWell, we hope you’re checking it a little earlier in the day or evening.

Sleep well, friends.

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