Getting enough sleep essential to health and well-being

July 08, 2019

​Be aware of the consequences of not getting enough sleep and what you can do to avoid them.

She’s burning the candle at both ends. He’s a real night owl. I’ve been burning the midnight oil. Given today’s busy lifestyles, it’s not surprising these expressions creep into our conversations. In fact, 35.3 percent of adults report they sleep less than the recommended number of seven hours per day.

Getting less sleep than recommended is not okay. Sleep deprivation can affect your health, your safety, and even your wallet. The short-term consequences of not getting enough sleep can include

  • decreased job performance;
  • memory and cognitive impairment;
  • relationship problems;
  • being unable to participate in activities that require sustained attention, such as going to the movies or your child’s school play;
  • workplace injuries; and
  • auto accidents.

In the longer-term, studies have linked chronic sleep deprivation with serious medical conditions, such as

  • high blood pressure;
  • heart attack;
  • stroke;
  • depression; and
  • obesity.

What you can do

The good news is that there’s a wealth of information and treatment options for sleep deprivation. In some cases, getting enough sleep can be a simple matter of deciding not to trade sleep for more work or other activities. On the other hand, some people may have unrecognized sleep disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea.

If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, or if a typical night’s sleep leaves you feeling tired instead of refreshed, talk to your doctor. He or she may suggest lifestyle changes, prescribe medication, or recommend you see a sleep specialist.

And, if you have medical coverage through the Board of Pensions, consider participating in the Sleep Mode Ignite Your Life coaching program through Call to Health.* This six-week program is designed to help you create simple habits and behaviors to get better sleep — and you’ll receive 300 Call to Health points upon completion.

*Call to Health is available to employees and their spouses with medical coverage through the Board of Pensions; it is not available to members enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.