Sleep loss hurts performance

Published 12:58 am Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Inability to sleep sometimes symptom of other disease

Insomnia costs the average U.S. worker 11.3 days or $2,280 in lost productivity every year, which ads up to a whopping $63.2 billion annually across the country.

Ray Forrester, vice president of operations for the Metairie, La.-based Sleep Specialists shared that data with Andalusia Rotarians on Tuesday. Since January, Sleep Specialists has partnered with Andalusia Health to provide sleep study services.

And while insomnia costs the country billions in lost productivity, it can be treated for as little as $200 per year.

Insomnia is just one of the underlying causes of sleep deprivation, he said. Those can range from sleep apnea to narcolepsy. Four out of 10 people with hypertension will exhibit sleep issues, and half of those with diabetes will have trouble sleeping, he said.

Other symptoms include snoring, daytime sleeping, leg cramps, gasping for air and high blood pressure.

And sometimes, sleep can be improved with self discipline, he said. Most people continue to use electronic devices until bed times, which makes it more difficult to unwind and fall asleep.

Studies show that sleep improves by one to two hours per night if a person disengages from electronics at least an hour before bedtime.

Other ways to improve sleep, he said, include:

  • Exercising at least 30 minutes per day.
  • Maintaining a sleep routine of going to sleep and waking up at the same times.
  • Limiting caffeine consumption and eating too close to bedtime.
  • Setting a sleep environment with temperature, sound and light.

Forrester said sleep studies can be conducted locally at Andalusia Health, or home sleep testing is available for some patients.

“We educate the participant in the lab, and they use a monitor at home,” he said.

Sleeping is monitored at home, in much the same way that a patient sometimes wears an outpatient heart monitor. Company wide, he said, Sleep Specialists evaluates 900 patients per month.

Generally, a patient needs to be referred to a sleep study by a physician, and the test is covered by most insurance providers, he said.

For more information, contact Sleep Specialists at 866-337-2536 or email