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Study links 13 percent of workplace accidents to poor sleep

Most North Carolina workers likely have at least one thing they turn to when feeling tired at work. Coffee, energy drinks or a brisk walk around the office are all commonly employed remedies to combat the grogginess often associated with a poor night's sleep. Millions of Americans struggle to get a good and restful night of sleep. For many, ongoing and sustained disruptions in sleep may adversely impact both their physical and mental wellbeing.

For a recent study, researchers compiled data from nearly 30 other studies to determine the link between sleep and workplace injuries. Looking at survey results for nearly 270,000 employees, researchers believe that an estimated 13 percent of all workplace injuries can be attributed to lack of sleep.

Not only can not getting adequate amounts of sleep make an individual feel more groggy and clumsy, but lack of sleep has also been linked to major health problems. In fact, individuals who have problems sleeping are at an increased risk for developing heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

The study did not take into account the accidents and injuries of employees who drive a car or truck for work. If it had, however, the percentage of work-related accidents attributable to lack of sleep would likely be much higher.

There's no doubt that sleep is important for both optimum physical and mental performance. A work-related injury can have long-lasting and far-reaching negative implications for an individual's physical and financial wellbeing. It's wise, therefore, for employees who believe they may suffer from a sleep disorder to seek the advice of a medical professional.

Source: WebMD, "Sleep disorders health centre, "Poor sleep linked to work injuries," Sophie Ramsey, June 13, 2013

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