The Real Toll of Sleep Deprivation

Summary: Sleep deprivation is a big deal, costing Canadians billions in health care, lost work time, and economic benefits. It’s not just a Canadian problem, however, but also a worldwide epidemic. Read about the toll that sleep deprivation takes on everyone.

Sleep, it seems, is like something that either we can do easily or we can’t. In fact, those who are doing it easily don’t even think about it, until we find ourselves short on rest. But actually, sleep deprivation is a bigger deal than you may think. What is the cost that sleep deprivation has on our bodies and our bank accounts?

In March of 2017, CBC News posted this story informing Canadians of what sleep deprivation costs the economy. The tagline said that we lost 80,000 working days per year and $21 billion dollars because of tiredness. One quarter of Canadians sleep less than the recommended seven hours per day. Yes, it’s a big deal because both the quality and quantity of sleep that we get matters.

Sleep deprivation is not just about the harm that is done to workplace productivity or to performance related costs due to human error. Human error, in some jobs, can be fatal. The report mentions the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, the Exxon Valdez spill and the space shuttle Challenger tragedy as incidents that might have been prevented had lack of sleep not been a factor. Getting adequate sleep is essential to living a long life, keeping a healthy weight, performing well, and having a strong positive attitude.

A link has been drawn to show that lack of sleep is both a cause and a symptom of many chronic diseases. Obstructive sleep apnea is another link in the cause-or-symptom chain of sleep deprivation and poor health. The 2009 Canadian Community Health Survey found that adults who were diagnosed with sleep apnea were 2.5 times more likely to have diabetes, 1.8 times more likely to have hypertension, 2.2 times more likely to have heart disease and 2.2 times more likely to have a mood disorder, compared to the rest of the population.

The problem with sleep apnea being included in the mix is that lack of sleep occurs despite the sleeper’s best efforts. The sleeper stops breathing during sleep and must wake to begin breathing again. The report says that “the sleeper does not become fully awake, and usually has no recollection of the awakening. This cycle happens repeatedly through the night, interfering with the normal sleep pattern that one needs to feel rested and refreshed in the morning.”

Recognizing the lack of sleep and understanding what is causing the sleep deficit goes a long way in recovery. There are things that Canadians can do to ensure that they are properly diagnosed so that they can begin working forward on their health. For example, if you feel that you would benefit from discussion with a sleep specialist in Edmonton regarding sleep apnea and some of the aids in terms of a CPAP apparatus to help you get the rest you need, then that is a positive step forward. Once the impact is properly recognized, treatment will come much more easily.

If you are looking for CPAP therapy in Edmonton, talk to CPAP Solutions Inc.

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