Better sleep means less sick days
Your body simply works much better when you’ve had the proper amount of rest. It allows your brain to recharge, cells to repair themselves and key hormones are released that your body needs. Problems arise when you don’t get enough sleep. A new study even finds that lack of sleep may contribute to more days away from work.
Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night is linked to the lowest risk of work absence due to sickness, according to research published in the September journal of Sleep. For those who reported sleeping less than six hours, or more than nine hours a night, being absent from work due to sickness increased sharply.
Other issues related to sleep that caused work absences due to sickness included insomnia-related symptoms, early morning waking, feeling more tired than others and sleeping pill usage.
Participants in the study included nearly 4,000 Finnish working men and women between the ages of 30 and 64. They were surveyed on sleep characteristics through a questionnaire, and health measures were determined from physicals performed by doctors. Work absences data was gathered from a Finnish insurance institute that tracks all sickness absences that last more than 10 days.
“Those sleeping five hours or less, or 10 hours or more, were absent from work every year for 4.6 to 8.9 days more, as compared to those with optimal sleep length,” said lead study author Tea Lallukka with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in a statement.
“Insufficient sleep—due to inadequate or mistimed sleep—contributes to the risk for several of today’s public health epidemics, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity,” explained American Academy of Sleep Medicine president Dr. Timothy Morganthaler in a statement.
Researchers found that costs associated with absence due to sickness could decrease by up to 28 percent if sleep issues could be fully addressed.
“Insomnia symptoms should be detected early to help prevent sickness absence and deterioration in health, well-being and functioning,” said Lallukka. “Successful prevention of insomnia not only promotes health and work ability among employees, but it can also lead to notable savings in reduced sickness absence costs,” she added.
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