Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Life-Work Balance: Poor Sleep at Home Can Lead to Injuries at Work

A common symptom of sleep apnea is daytime sleepiness. Left untreated, this sleepiness can cause driving or work-related accidents.

According to a study in the May issue of the journal SLEEP, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep can cause similar problems.

Researchers used data from the Canadian Health Survey Cycle (CCHS). The survey occurred in 2000 and 2001. Respondents reported having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep “never,” “some of the time,” or “most of the time.”

The current study examined people from 15 to 64 years of age who had worked part or full-time over the past 12 months. It included 65,485 people who had not experienced an injury in the past twelve months. It also included 4,099 people who had had a work-related injury.

This Canadian-based study compared the risk of work-related injuries across different job sectors. It sought to identify at-risk groups for prevention efforts.

The percentage of workers reporting a work injury increased with sleep troubles. The association was strongest for women.

Men and women who had problems “most of the time” experienced higher work-related injury rates than those who “never” had sleep problems. Trouble sleeping “sometimes” was also associated with a larger number of work injuries in women.

People who slept three to six hours per night reported the highest risk. Women who slept five to six hours per night had a higher risk than those who slept seven to nine hours per night.

An increased risk of injury do to sleep troubles was apparent in most industries. The most at-risk groups included women in processing, manufacturing, farming, forestry and fishing. People working rotating or split shifts also had high-risk for work-related accidents.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.