Why can’t a bicycle stay up? Because it’s two (too) tired. Now that you’ve stopped groaning, lack of sleep is a growing problem among corporate America and a serious health concern. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation often takes a back seat in the wellness headlines compared to not exercising, bad eating habits, and stress, yet insufficient sleep leads to worse health and poor productivity.
In contrast with corporate culture that demands longer hours at work and higher productivity, fewer than six hours of sleep can significantly impair an employee’s abilities and overall well-being. According to an article on the website of Society for Human Resource Management titled, “Mobile Gadgets, Longer Hours Worsening Sleep,” it points to a study done at Cornell University that found that “both medical and indirect costs (such as those related to missed work, or lack of concentration while at work) were about $1,253 higher per individual for workers who had insufficient sleep than for those who got enough sleep.”
So why is this story in the Technology section instead of the Wellness section? Because smartphones and tablets appear to be making the problem of sleep deprivation worse, but wearable technology may be able to help. It's like fighting fire with fire.
Let’s start with the problem. Both smartphones and tablets allow employees to stay connected to their work, thus allowing them to continue addressing work-related issues instead of unplugging (pun intended) from the office. Plus, these devices emit blue light, which causes our eyes to assume it is daylight regardless of the actual time of day.
To help combat this unnatural phenomenon, people need to train their minds and bodies to power down. Don’t look at email, social media, or any activity that requires you to stare at an electronic screen. By doing so, you will be able to achieve deep sleep and reduce or even eliminate fatigue the following day.
Technology, which is a primary cause of sleep deprivation, can also help relieve it. The latest high-tech wearable devices are able to monitor your health, rest periods, and sleep. By getting this complete picture of activity, it can help you change your habits and alter your day-to-day routines.