Wake-Up Call: Sleep Deprivation is a Financial Crisis


26511022_xxlRecently, one sleep expert referred to quality sleep deprivation as a public health epidemic, describing the U.S. as a nation of shift workers because these days we work at all hours. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 30 percent of adults sleep less than six hours a night on weeknights.*

For America’s businesses, there is a financial toll that comes with lack of sleep, translated into a loss of productivity. This financial liability comes to about $63.2 billion a year, or $2,280 per worker. According to sleep experts, productivity for each day can be structured around how much sleep an employee received the night before. That’s because whatever mood you’re experiencing when you get into work is likely the one you’ll keep all day. For example, research found that customer service representatives who went to work feeling surly were more negative, less productive and more likely to use verbal tics and jargon so they sounded less professional.*

Work-related issues created by sleep deprivation have been documented for a while now, including slower response times, increased errors and mispronouncing or slurring words. Obviously, in professions such as transportation, law enforcement, factory and machinery positions there is a higher risk for errors, misjudgments and even mortal danger when employees haven’t had enough sleep. But in recent years, these issues have crept into the realm of white collar professions thanks to 24/7 access via real-time technology.*

This creates an interesting paradox, given that work is cited as the greatest culprit for sleep deprivation. Sleep experts say that we’re experiencing a somewhat different phenomenon these days because we are remotely connected via cellphones, and the boundaries between work and personal life are virtually non-existent in many fields.*

Some companies are being proactive about addressing sleep deprivation among employees. There is now such a thing as a nap-pod, which is a nook within the workplace where an employee can go take a power nap. Other companies have installed melatonin-regulating lighting, or offer financial assistance for employees to enroll in courses to learn about healthy sleeping strategies. Instead of encouraging workers to be available after work hours, some companies are reversing this trend and shutting off email servers so employees can’t check their work emails after they go home.*

While many companies have implemented health and wellness programs in the workplace, very few have formal programs related to improving sleep habits. Some of the more common recommendations include:

  • Turning off technology at least one hour before going to bed to help eliminate interference with melatonin production
  • Avoiding wine before bedtime, since it can make you sleepy initially but interferes with sleep cycles later in the night
  • Not eating or drinking foods with caffeine within 12 hours of bedtime

People with more serious sleep issues may wish to consult a physician, but even that’s no guarantee of getting the right diagnosis or treatment. One sleep expert asserts that there are 89 different diagnosable sleep disorders, but most doctors can name no more than five. Many physicians will start by prescribing sleeping pills, but this may not be the best course of treatment.*

Studies have revealed that sleep deprivation is correlated to quite a number of far more serious health conditions, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and early-onset Alzheimer’s. While the occasional sleepless night is normal and not likely to have a long-term impact, an ongoing pattern of insomnia should be taken more seriously. Start with basic sleep enhancement recommendations, but if those don’t work, consider seeing a physician or sleep consultant for an accurate diagnosis and customized course of treatment.*

We would love to be able to help you sleep better at night by helping you set up a financial plan for your retirement. Please give us a call us at 801-990-5055 or visit us at bossretirement.com.

Our firm assists retirees and pre-retirees in the creation of retirement strategies utilizing investment and insurance products. Advisory services offered through B.O.S.S. Retirement Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisory firm, and offered through Global Financial Private Capital, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Insurance products and services offered through B.O.S.S. Retirement Solutions. To see a list of services please visit us at bossretirement.com/services.

This content is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation.

*Wharton; “Wake-up Call: Why Workers Need More Sleep”

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