University Services Says Lack of Sleep Equals Presenteeism

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According to Dr. Benjamin Gerson, insomnia is a common condition that impacts the productivity of employees.

According to the Integrated Benefits Institute, fatigue, depression, and sleep problems are three of the top ten causes for lost days of work. Half of those suffering from insomnia blame the problem on stress and worry; a dangerous cycle

Insomnia not only affects worker productivity but also leads to presenteeism, a condition where employees come to work but are not productive, according to Dr. Benjamin Gerson, medical director of University Services Sleep Diagnostic & Treatment Centers in Philadelphia. "According to the Integrated Benefits Institute, fatigue, depression, and sleep problems are three of the top ten causes for lost days of work. Half of those suffering from insomnia blame the problem on stress and worry; a dangerous cycle," Dr. Gerson commented during a presentation at the 4th Annual Leadership Summit on Behavioral Health, held July 13-14 in Philadelphia.

Insomnia is the leading sleep complaint in the United States. It can be acute, lasting several nights, or chronic, lasting months and even years. The inability to receive adequate sleep creates unproductive employees who suffer from mood changes, decreased concentration, impaired daytime functioning and other health issues. The National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health states about 30-40% of adults say they have some symptoms of insomnia within a given year, and about 10-15% of adults say they have chronic insomnia. Sleepiness can also lead to presenteeism, the condition where employees come to work but are not fully engaged. The Employers Health Coalition of Tampa estimates presenteeism to be up to 7 ½ times more costly to employers than absenteeism.

So what can employers do to correct the problem? An innovative and cost effective program developed by Dr. Gerson includes an online screening questionnaire, at-home or in-laboratory diagnostic sleep test, and treatment to get employees back to work quickly and safely. "This model has been proven to treat sleep disorders in the transportation industry," Dr. Gerson noted. Employees receive the help they need to correct sleep concerns and thereby wake up refreshed and ready to start their day. Fatigue, irritability and presenteeism decreases, and work productivity increases.

About University Services
University Services, a multi-specialty medical services organization, provides sleep diagnostic and treatment to patients in southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware. Each sleep center offers state-of-the-art overnight testing facilities with private bedrooms, bathrooms, and the comforts of home. Convenient at-home testing options are also available.

University Services works with existing companies to help their employees correct sleep concerns. If you'd like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with Dr. Gerson, please call Crystal Bayawa at 800-624-3784 or e-mail Crystal at cbayawa (at) uservices (dot) com.

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Crystal Bayawa
University Services
800-624-3784 ext. 102
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