Web Site Aims To Open Corporate Eyes To Sleep Disorders

Employee fatigue costs U.S. businesses more than $150 billion a year in productivity, according to recent research by the National Commission on Sleep Disorders. As part of a program to increase awareness of insomnia and other sleep-related health issues, the Searle Pharmaceutical Co. is sponsoring a sleep education Web site, including information on the impact of sleeplessness and fatigue in the workplace. The site discusses sleep hygiene, sleep habits, and lifestyle supplemented with case studies of companies addressing these issues, including Union Pacific Railroad and Eastman Kodak Co. Research is presented on how fatigue affects one's ability to handle stressful situations, concentrate, listen, solve problems, make decisions, and relate to co-workers. The information applies equally to shift workers, office staff, business travelers, and those handling repetitive operations. Common sleep "myths" also are dispelled:

  • People need less sleep as they get older.
  • Its possible to train yourself to function normally with too little sleep.
  • Raising the volume of the radio while driving will help keep you awake. A turn-key kit that employers can use to provide sleep education for employees is available at the site.
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