Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops at night. Usually this is because the airway collapses while sleeping, cutting off a person’s breath, and forcing them to wake up temporarily to resume breathing. This can happen hundreds of times a night, and may make it impossible for people to reach the deeper, restorative levels of sleep.
How well your employees sleep at night has a big effect on how well they perform when at work, and sleep apnea can significantly impact your company’s bottom line, especially if people are undiagnosed or not getting effective treatment.
One of the biggest effects of sleep apnea is absenteeism. If your employees aren’t sleeping well at night, they’re more likely to call in because they aren’t feeling well (e.g. they may have a morning headache), or because they’re just too tired to come in.
Studies indicate that people with undiagnosed sleep apnea miss about 70% more work days than those without sleep apnea. The difference is more pronounced in women, and it likely persists for years.
Presenteeism is when employees show up for work, but they’re not really all there. They may have low motivation, may have difficulty focusing, may make mistakes, or may even doze off in the middle of tasks.
When workers are merely present at work, and they may have poor concentration and doze off, they are more likely to be involved in workplace accidents.
Workers with sleep apnea may be twice as likely to suffer a workplace accident. These accidents are also more likely to be serious. Workers may be 3 times more likely to suffer long-term disability due to injury.
Car accidents when driving a company car or truck can expose your company to serious liability and expenses.
People with sleep apnea may be up to 17 times more likely to be involved in car accidents, so having a driver with sleep apnea can be dangerous for your company.
Protect Your Employees and Your Company
Because of these dangers, your company should encourage employees to be screened for sleep apnea.
If you want to learn more about sleep apnea screening, testing, and treatment, please call 402-493-4175 to talk to sleep dentist Dr. Roger Roubal at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha.