Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sleep is a writer’s dream because sleep deprivation is big business

Everywhere you look these days; CNN, USA Today, MSNBC and even on the Dr. Oz Show, they are writing or talking about sleep or I should say the lack of it. Sleep deprivation can lead to many health problems like; obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and depression. BUT, sleep deprivation is a two edge sword because illnesses such as; epilepsy, lupus, fibromyalgia and even sleep related conditions; obstructive sleep apnea, night terrors, and sleepwalking are reasons many of us are getting less sleep than we need. Since we can’t fall asleep easy and stay asleep throughout the night (symptoms of insomnia) this can cause us to lose mental focus, become irritable and we may cause physical harm to ourselves as well as others by falling asleep during the day.

[caption id="attachment_1003" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Sleep is a writer's dream because sleep deprivation is big business - Air Traffic Controller Falls Asleep on the Job"][/caption]

Recently, in the news, an air-traffic controller fell asleep on the job and two airliners at Washington's Reagan National Airport had to land on their own. The National Transportation Safety Board said the controller, who had 20 years' experience, was working his fourth consecutive overnight shift, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. alone. Since this incident the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood ordered that Reagan National Airport have two air traffic controllers in the tower during the overnight shift. DAH! OK, so we were told that the backup system kicked in to ensure the safe landing of both airplanes.

Truth or not, sleep can be a snore spot when it comes to the news, but it is a stirring topic when it comes to writers. Professional businesses tout their drugs, sleep supplements, memory foam mattresses, hypnotic sleep CDs and Mp3s and even lavender stuffed eye pillows and why…sleep is a writer’s dream because sleep deprivation is big business.

We spend one-third of our lives sleeping and every one at one time or another has had trouble falling asleep, even if it was for one night. They are surfing the internet, reading the newspapers or business journals to find the answer to “Why can’t I fall asleep?” In fact the Puget Sound Business Journal did an article that mentions sleep-related business ideas including a study that Continental Airlines is taking part in, in regards to the effect of long-haul flights on airline staff.

Professional writers and bloggers alike have talked about a range of sleep topics that relate to the transportation industry to why grandma sleepwalks and this has created a sleep aid market that reaches revenues of $25 billion a year! Sleep clinics are reporting close to $6 billion in profits, while mattress and pillow sales have sky rocketed to $10 billion. Due to the economy in the last few years, stress related sleep deprivation has increased the profit of sleeping pills to $1.8 billion.

Note: While businesses can make money on the sleep deprived, the sleep deprived are costing businesses a lot of money too in lost productivity and sick days. The over-worked, underpaid get more colds and flu due to stress and lack of sleep because there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done, least 7 hours of shut-eye. For more information see: Rest Assured on 7 Hours of Sleep

[caption id="attachment_1005" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Sleep is a writer's dream because sleep deprivation is big business - CNN Article on Sleep"][/caption]

The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine researchers estimated that lost productivity due to poor sleep cost $3,156 per employee with insomnia and an averaged $2,500 for those with less severe sleep problems. This doesn't include the cost of absenteeism--those with insomnia missed work an extra five days a year compared to good sleepers.

So you bloggers that are staying up late at night, losing sleep, to get your sleep article done…search sleep in Google. What do you get? 441,000,000 articles on sleep! Now who can compete with that? You need at least 7 hours of sleep, plus another hour to calm your brain and body or what I call The Power Down Hour. So if you have to get up at 6am to have enough time to get ready for work you need to go to sleep at 11pm and at 10pm turn off all electronics and dim the lights, take a warm bath, have a cup of tea or a glass of warm milk and relax.

The content in Sleep is a writer’s dream because sleep deprivation is big business is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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