ASG Perspectives

On-Call with Sara Winand, RN — Sleep: It Does a Body Good!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Aahh.... sleep.

We all love it, but sleep quality can make the difference between a productive worker and an on-the-job snoozer.

Translated into dollars, a 2011 study by the Associated Professional Sleep Societies found that poor sleep quality can result in a productivity loss of $2,280 per worker, per year.

In addition to improving employee retention and reducing absenteeism, good sleep habits among employees can no doubt have a profound impact on your organization’s bottom lin. Well-rested employees report that they are happier, less stressed, and more focused on the job, compared to their sleep-deprived colleagues.

In particular, a new study recently released from the American Heart Association has found sleeping less than six hours a night could more than double the risk for death for people with metabolic syndrome!

Do you or someone you care about have metabolic syndrome? People that have at least three of the five following conditions, have metabolic syndrome:

1. Abdominal Obesity

2. High blood pressure

3. Elevated fasting blood sugars

4. High triglycerides

5. Low HDL levels (the good cholesterol) or high triglyceride levels

Having this syndrome puts you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. The increased risk for death as it relates to less sleep was associated with all five factors, although findings show the sleep effect is strongest among those with high blood pressure and high fasting blood sugars.

Metabolic syndrome is preventable, so to reduce your risk and not become a statistic, consider taking the following steps toward prevention:

– Eat better: whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean meats, fish; avoid processed food

– Be active: exercise or walk, and put at least 150 minutes per week into your routine

– Lose weight by combining healthy eating with healthy physical activity

– Take prescribed medication to control blood, pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol

– Track your sleep habits with wearable tech devices

– Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night as recommended for adults (and that does not include naps!)

Encourage your employer groups to take advantage of the many types of wellness programs and health screenings offered by professionals within their communities to identify risk factors early before they cause major complications such as heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, poor healing, or renal failure.

Still not convinced? Check out this segment that was recently aired on CBS This Morning explaining how sleep affects people with metabolic syndrome. 



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