In 1942, less than 8% of the population was surviving on six hours or less sleep. Fast forward to 2017, where one in two people survive on six hours or less of sleep. It is getting harder to get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. What can this epidemic be ascertained to? Walker says, “light is a profound degrader of our sleep. Second, there is the issue of work: not only the porous borders between when you start and finish, but longer commute times, too. No one wants to give up time with their family or entertainment, so they give up sleep instead.”
Furthermore, sleep deprivation is increasing the risk of:
- A heart attack or stroke, with adults aged 45 years or older being 200% more likely for this event to occur, compared to those sleeping eight hours a night
- Effective control of blood sugar, making individuals more susceptible to weight gain
- Weakening of the immune system
- Developing Alzheimer’s disease
Walker states that things have to change, in our communities, homes, families and workplaces.
Walker also has a fascinating two part podcast on ‘Why We Sleep’ which we highly recommend you listen to.
Stanford Brown asks employees about their sleeping habits as part of our Employee Benefits Survey. It is important to identify key health risk specific to your business to put into place program’s to help mitigate these risks.
Employers wishing tackle this issue we have a number of partners who can run sleep seminars and intervention programs we can refer to you.