5 Ways Your Sleep Habits Are Affecting Your Health & Wellness

Michigan-based small business owners looking for a way to improve their worker’s performance should encourage their staff to get enough rest. Employing workers with poor sleep habits can have a significant negative impact on the bottom line. Here’s a closer look at the ways excessive sleep and sleep deprivation can affect health and wellness, and consequently small business profitability.

Sleep deprivation can make you diabetic

A pair of recent studies have found a link between sleeping deprivation and diabetes. Researchers at both the University of London and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that people who don’t get the recommended eight hours of sleep per night on a regular basis lose the ability to properly regulate their blood sugar. Over time, the problem could become severe enough for sufferers to develop type 2 diabetes. That’s a big problem for small business owners, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified diabetes as one of the most expensive health conditions in America.

Using your smartphone in bed can cause you to feel fatigued

If you wake up feeling fatigued and foggy, you might want to discontinue the use of electronics before bed. Electronic devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets emit a blue-colored light that interferes with the body’s ability to produce the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. When that happens, your natural sleep cycle will be disrupted, and you’ll want to sleep during the day and stay awake at night. The disruption will cause you to be mentally absent but physically present at work, a phenomenon called presenteeism. Small business owners need to be on the lookout for signs of presentism, as it has been found to cost U.S. industry more than $136 billion annually.

Drinking before bed can increase your risk factor for obesity

Because excessive alcohol intake causes us to feel drowsy, some Americans use adult beverages as a sleep aid. Unfortunately, drinking too much before bed can actually have the opposite effect. Although booze can help you fall asleep faster, the process of absorbing alcohol actually has an arousing effect on the body that disrupts restorative rapid eye movement (REM). Over time, all that poor quality sleep will increase your risk factor for contracting obesity, which the CDC names as one of the health problem costing U.S. employers the most money.

Eating before bedtime can make you hypertensive

Eating too much before bedtime can also have a negative impact on your health. As part of the digestive process, our bodies generate stomach acid, which is used to break down the food we eat. If you lie down after eating, you can cause the acids churning in your stomach to rise up into your throat, which will cause you to experience disturbing heartburn. Eventually, sleeping erratically will interfere with the body’s ability to purge stress hormones, and your blood pressure will go up as a result. Untreated, excessive high blood pressure will lead to hypertension, an illness that costs U.S. companies $10.3 billion annually.

Oversleeping has been linked to a host of health problems

Even though getting too little sleep can adversely affect your health, getting too much sleep can be just as problematic. A range of studies have linked sleeping more than nine hours a night with an increased risk factor for contracting diabetes, obesity, depression, heart disease and stroke. The reality is that getting significantly more or less than the recommended eight hours a night is a cause for concern.

 

To learn more about affordable healthcare plans for your small business, visit Health Alliance Plan.

For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit CBS Small Business Pulse Detroit.

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