Are sleepy co-workers costing your company money? No, I’m not talking about time off for naps, it has been estimated that the total cost to American businesses for fatigue related incidents is about $31 billion each year. Sleepy workers can cost companies money due to errors and accidents. A recent survey suggested that insomnia was linked to a 40% higher risk of accidents that cost a company $500 or more.
This data from the American Insomnia Survey found that people with insomnia were 90% more likely to report costly accidents at work and 40% more likely to have made an expensive error on the job (researchers adjusted for age and other factors). Insomnia is estimated to be the cause of about 7% of workplace accidents overall.
Insomnia is not the only sleep disorder that leads to excessive daytime sleepiness and increased accidents! Patients with obstructive sleep apnea get to sleep just fine and they think they are getting a full night’s sleep. They don’t understand why they are so sleepy and fatigued during the day. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes the sleeper to stop breathing during sleep. This happens many times each hour throughout the night causing fragmented sleep as the patient briefly wakes to begin breathing again. They don’t remember these wakings or gasping for air during sleep. Signs of sleep apnea include snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, overweight and gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Left untreated, sleep apnea is linked to increased risk of heart disease, stroke and mood disorders.
Sleep apnea can be treated by using a CPAP machine but many patients have difficulties using CPAP and abandon treatment. There is another highly effective treatment available from a dentist who is specially trained in dental sleep medicine. A custom oral appliance can be used to keep the airway open throughout the night is effective and comfortable.
To find out more about obstructive sleep apnea and oral appliance therapy please contact Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 541-858-7994. We’ll be happy to schedule a consultation to find out if you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy.