Excessive sleepiness impairs health and productivity
Impaired Health Status, Daily Functioning, and Work Productivity in Adults with Excessive Sleepiness. Dean B, Aguilar D, Shapiro C, Orr WC, Isserman JA, Calimlim B, Rippon G. J Occup Environ Med. 2010. 52(2): 144-149.
To assess the impact of sleep disturbances on work performance and productivity, and review the associated productivity costs.
3,735 adult participants that completed a survey on their sleep patterns during June and July 2006 in the US.
Participants recorded their sleep patterns against productivity, health status and daily functioning. From the results, participants were identified as suffering from excessive sleepiness (ES) defined as "the inability to consistently achieve and sustain levels of wakefulness needed to accomplish the tasks of daily living." It is a common symptom of obstructive sleep aponea, narcolepsy, multiple sclerosis, depression and shift work. Participants with or without ES were further split in two groups. Those who had obstructive sleep aponea, depression, narcolepsy, multiple sclerosis, or were shift workers (1,758 people); and those without these conditions (1,977 people).
- Individuals with ES were four times more likely to report four or more associated conditions e.g. asthma, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease.
- Participants with ES also had a significantly worse quality of life and lower cognition and alertness scores than those without ES.
- Absenteeism and presenteeism were 2.2% and 10.6% higher and self-reported activity impairment was also 11.11% higher in those with ES.
- The level of productivity impairment caused by ES is 32.4%, which is similar to other long term conditions such as diabetes (22%) and depression (33%).
What does this mean?
Excessive sleepiness has negative effects on health and general functioning, such as cognition and alertness. It's also linked to higher absenteeism and presenteeism.