Written by Leslie Burgess ND, Naturopathic Doctor, Calm Spirit Acupuncture and Massage
It is estimated that sleep related fatigue costs businesses $150 billion a year in absenteeism, work place accidents, and lost productivity. An estimated one quarter of high school and college students are sleep deprived.(1) According to the CDC, 1 in 25 adults report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes in 2013.(2)
Most of us realize when we are sleep deprived and scared we won’t be able to complete our duties as employees, employers, parents, students and/or caregivers. We’re aware we are more likely to gain weight and become ill when we are sleep deprived. Some of us find a solution with the use of Ambien or other medications, while others use melatonin, and still others suffer through the night with ruminating thoughts about deadlines or other work-related stressors. Those of us wanting to stay away from medications because of the “medication hangover” or side-effects they have concerning other organs do have additional choices.
Tools such as biofeedback(EEG) can be extremely helpful in correcting the unhealthy feedback loops such as ruminating thoughts and poor sleep patterns. Once we begin to sleep we can work in lifestyle changes that will most certainly help us to live a higher quality of life where we are more likely to smile than stare off into space.
Society would function more efficiently if we all got more sleep, based on the money spent to address productivity loss, driving accidents, and sleep deprived related obesity.