Impacts of insomnia on the workplace

Published on: March 18, 2021 | Reading time: 🕐 2m

Montreal, QC, March 18, 2021 – In an effort to raise awareness of World Sleep Day, on Friday, March 19, HALEO wishes to bring attention to the undesirable and costly effects of insomnia on the workplace.  HALEO is providing the tools and clinical support to help organizations better address this problem. 

Few employers ask their employees about the quality of their sleep, yet it is a fundamental factor in calculating job performance.

Indeed, the costs related to lost productivity caused by insomnia reach $ 16.1 billion per year in Canada (two and a half times more than those related to mental illness). This means that the direct costs(treatment related to sleep problems), but mainly indirect (sick leave,absenteeism, presenteeism, replacements, lack of attention and reduced performance) of insomnia are staggering. Not to mention the increased risks of chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases)related to sleep disorders.

In fact, a study conducted by Daley and her colleagues on 949 Canadian subjects sheds light on the correlation between symptoms of insomnia and the rate of absenteeism or reduced performance at work.

The data demonstrated that good sleepers miss work an average of 3 days per year, while this number jumps to 10 for those with the insomnia syndrome. In terms of productivity, good sleepers are considered to"lose" the equivalent of 10 workdays per year, compared to 45 for people experiencing chronic insomnia.

According to Dr. Marie-Hélène Favreau, Medical Director of HALEO, “To this day, sleep remains one of the pillars of health and well-being that is still underestimated and is rarely integrated into initiatives in the workplace. In recent years, a host of programs have been deployed in organizations to promote physical exercise and healthy eating. The service offering to counter insomnia and improve the quality of sleep will experience significant growth in the coming months and years because it is one of the important components for improving the quality of personal and professional life. The virtual solutions developed by HALEO’s experts make it possible to bridge this gap with a targeted, personalized approach that’s achieving an exceptional success rate among users. Companies can thus seize the opportunity to add this service in order to improve their mental health and well-being strategy. "

The advantage of corporate wellness programs

In recent years, we have seen more and more organizations investing in corporate wellness programs. A wise choice, since a study carried out by Harvard in 2010 shows that, for every dollar invested in such a program,medical costs decrease by approximately $ 3.27 and the costs of absenteeism decrease by approximately $ 2.73.  We are therefore talking about a yield of 6 to 1.

Insomnia needs to be addressed in its own right, and often separately from other mental health issues. When insomnia persists, the chances of having depressive episode increase. In turn, treating insomnia has apositive impact on mood, stress management, and anxiety symptoms. Treating your employees' sleep problems is therefore an effective way to promote their mental health.

The COVID effect

Since the start of the pandemic, medical costs have skyrocketed, as have sleep disorders. According to a recent publication from the University of Ottawa's Institute for Mental Health Research (IMHR),symptoms of sleep disturbances in Canada have increased from 40% of the population before the pandemic to 50.5% during the pandemic.

Thus, by helping employees improve their sleep, companies reduce the costs directly associated with absenteeism and increase their overall productivity. HALEO demonstrates a return on investment of more than 5X by considering exclusively the replacement costs for short-term absences. And this figure is multiplied when we calculate the costs of insurance, drugs, short-term and long-term disability, as well as the lack of productivity, not to mention the errors and accidents of individuals present at work but suffering from insomnia. Unlike most solutions readily available for employers,HALEO’s proprietary protocol includes an end-to-end solution with a flagship CBT-I program delivered by a registered healthcare professional.

HALEO is a national virtual care clinic that helps Canadian organizations take charge of their employees' health, wellbeing and performance by offering a virtual turnkey program to detect and treat sleep disorders.  

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