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Weary Workers

Apr 15, 2021
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Worker performance and productivity are both factors that most employers and managers think about as they try to improve profitability while containing costs. The amount of work completed and the quality of work completed to a certain standard...

Worker performance and productivity are both factors that most employers and managers think about as they try to improve profitability while containing costs. 

The amount of work completed and the quality of work completed to a certain standard are imperative for meeting company goals and objectives.

A component that many employers may not immediately consider is how much poor sleep hygiene may be hindering growth and profitability. Employees with poor sleep habits or who suffer from more serious sleep disorders have difficulty concentrating, react slowly and have a higher risk for accidents.


A shocking 50% of all employees are currently living with some type of sleep disorder that is causing them to feel fatigued at the workplace and in their personal lives, while 90% of employers report being negatively affected by employee fatigue resulting in nearly $63 billion in lost productivity and an additional $3,100 per undiagnosed employee, per year, in healthcare costs. 

Unfortunately, very little is being done to address the issue. Not knowing enough about the situation is mostly to blame for the lack of motivation toward treatment, both for employers and employees. When the issues surrounding poor sleep aren’t understood, it’s easy for employers to disregard the idea of spending money on another addition to their corporate wellness program. And, while your employees may say that they are always feeling fatigued, they are simply unable to self-diagnose and identify that it's poor sleep that is leading to performance.

As the mystery goes unsolved, fatigued employees are causing a whole host of problems for employers:

  • 47% of employers report decreased productivity due to fatigue
  • 50% of employers report an employee falling asleep on the job
  • 57% of employers report absenteeism due to fatigue
  • 32% of employers report injuries and near misses due to fatigue

When employees' sleep health is poor, so is their physical health. They often miss work and, when they aren’t absent, they suffer from what is identified as presenteeism. Presenteeism is defined as employees being on the job but, because of fatigue, illness, or other medical conditions, not fully functioning. So, although they are sitting at their desk, their focus isn’t really on work resulting in a drastic drop in their performance/productivity.

It’s believed that nearly four out of every 10 employees suffer from sleep loss, with a higher risk reported for people who do shift work, perform repetitious tasks, or suffer from sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). In fact, studies show that the odds of work accidents are almost double for people who have untreated OSA.

Heavy equipment operators must maintain intense concentration and focus in jobs that require long hours, irregular or night shifts, and repetitive work. It’s no wonder that fatigue and sleep loss are major concerns for their employers. And with studies showing a clear association between sleep disorders and workplace accidents, their concerns are well-founded.

Employers who address the issue of sleep health can greatly improve the well-being of their employees, regardless of whether those employees suffer from insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or simply have poor sleep habits. With a healthier, well-rested workforce, employers will see a positive impact on performance, productivity, and morale.

Source: National Safety Council


Recent neuroscience studies have shown that restful sleep is the single most important factor in maintaining a healthy brain and body as we get older. When we don’t get the recommended amount of restful sleep, our physical capabilities deteriorate, and our heart, brain, and immune system become threatened.

We spend one-third of our lives sleeping and yes, this simple daily act may actually be the most important aspect of an individual’s personal health, well-being, and productivity. Poor sleep can cause or worsen a number of serious health problems and chronic illnesses, and, when left untreated, it can even kill you. But if employers make sleep health a priority in the workplace, they are finding they’re able to impact their employees’ performance, productivity, and safety.

Individuals should receive at least seven hours of restful and continuous sleep every night to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, 35 percent of adults report getting less than that. In just the United States, more than 50 million people are suffering from more than 80 different sleep disorders each day, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Another 20–30 million people suffer from the consequences of intermittent sleep problems. All of this can all add up to serious health problems for employees.


Yes. When a company offers a program that teaches and empowers employees on how to improve their sleep. Those employees can improve their alertness, focus, and overall health. Once employees prioritize their sleep, they can start sleeping better, feeling better, and living better. And for companies, that means better employee performance, increased productivity, and a healthier bottom line.

The good news is that sleep study screening for sleep disorders, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, can detect which employees may be at risk, who should receive diagnostic testing, and who may benefit from treatment.

If an employee is determined to have sleep apnea or chronic snoring, most can be treated successfully through Oral Appliance Therapy at Pennsylvania Dental Sleep Medicine in Harrisburg.  Contact us at (717)995-3590 today!

Pittsburgh Dental Sleep Medicine