Occupational Health & Safety

CDC Offers Information on Sleep Problems, Workplace Impact

Based on a study conducted by the Centers of Disease Control, 16 percent of the people in Georgia experience persistent problems staying awake during the day. However, only 10 percent have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder. Treating sleep problems before they could potentially develop into long-term health issues is important, since poor quality sleep can present a hazard on the roads and in the workplace, while reducing a person's quality of life.

"Excessive daytime sleepiness can be an indication of an undiagnosed sleep-related disorder," says study author Michael Decker of CDC's Chronic Viral Diseases Branch. "Insufficient sleep and sleep disorders are associated with chronic diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and obesity. Sleep-related issues also can be primary symptoms of mental illness, such as depression. But sleep-related issues can be symptoms of other problems."

There is a probability that the findings--which reflected Georgians in urban and rural areas--can be generalized to the rest of the United States, but further studies would be needed to confirm this, Decker said. "Our findings highlight the need to educate the public about the symptoms of sleep disorders and to prompt them to seek appropriate care. We must also educate health care providers to recognize symptoms of sleep disorders when they are reported and to act upon them," he added.

CDC provides more information about sleep and sleep disorders at its Web site, www.cdc.gov/sleep/.

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