HomebusinesshealthAwards and RecognitionbusinesshealthResourcesBlog
The Callery Group
About UsOur ServicesContact Us

Sleep Easy
Conditions like sleep apnea can be treated, ensuring proper rest and productive days

Everyone has struggled to regain their focus after a poor night's sleep. It doesn't matter why the rest couldn't be realized. Attention drifts. Familiar tasks take longer than they normally do. Everyone around you just seems more irritating than usual.

Now imagine these struggles happening almost every day.

It can be an unpleasant reality for more than 850,000 Canadian adults diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Essentially, the condition causes people to stop breathing for 10 to 30 seconds at a time. Sleepers wake just long enough to gasp for air and then fall back into a fitful slumber, often without realizing they were ever awake at all.

The problems don't end in the fog of fatigue. Those with sleep apnea are 2.5 times more likely to have diabetes, 1.8 times more likely to report hypertension, and 2.2 times more likely to report heart disease or a mood disorder such as depression, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. They also contribute to workplace accidents.

The condition is likely more common than many people think. As many as one in four adults report symptoms or risk factors for developing obstructive sleep apnea. They might snore loud enough to be heard through closed doors, generally feel tired in the daytime, or have been told by a partner that they stop breathing in the middle of the night. There are physical signs, too. A Body Mass Index (BMI) above 35 kilograms per square metre or a recessed chin can be a sign of trouble. Men above the age of 50 face the highest risk of all.

Those who report risk factors like these can be officially diagnosed using a portable monitoring device or by spending the night in a sleep lab. Both options can be supported through formal workplace wellness programs or Employee Assistance Programs.

The screening may even become mandatory in some safety-sensitive workplaces. Discussions in the U.S. have already raised the idea of mandatory screening for truck drivers, and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now led by Mark Rosekind, a renowned sleep expert.

Once diagnosed, the treatment can take several forms. Some sufferers might be equipped with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines and masks that will keep upper airways open during sleep. In other cases the differences can be realized through lifestyle choices. Losing weight, avoiding alcohol or sedatives, or using a dental appliance that pushes a jaw outward can all help.

As important as the issue is to those with sleep apnea, there are steps that the rest of us can follow to ensure a more restful sleep as well.

The National Sleep Foundation, for example, stresses the need to follow a sleep schedule with common times for heading to bed and waking. Relaxing bedtime rituals like a warm bath will make a difference too. One way to clear your mind before heading to sleep is to document frustrations in a journal, or complete a formal to-do list for the next day. Regular exercise helps to improve the quality of sleep, but smaller physical actions such as taking five deep breaths or even tensing and relaxing toes can also help.

Above all, surroundings need to be relaxing. The foundation reports that the ideal bedroom temperature is between 15 and 19 Celsius. Distractions can be reduced with blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, or mechanical sources of white noise.

Portable electronic devices, maybe like the one used to read this blog, also need to be shut down because they generate the light that can interfere with sleep.

It's advice that can make a difference.

Pleasant dreams.

For more relaxing tips, visit www.sleepfoundation.org, or the Canadian Sleep Society at www.css-scs.ca.

Top Tips:

  • Reach out for a formal diagnosis if you demonstrate signs of sleep apnea.
  • Don't forget lifestyle choices. The threat of apnea can be reduced by losing weight and avoiding alcohol or sedatives.
  • Look to workplace wellness programs for the tips that can help to improve sleep.

Copyright Notice

All rights reserved. All of the content herein is the sole property of the Callery Group, and may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in a retrieval system - in whole or in part - without the written permission of the Callery Group. Links to the originating article at www.callerygroup.com are permitted.

The Buzz Bits
Miscellaneous links to interesting benefits information

Should saving for your kids' education trump saving for retirement?: Benefits Canada

Specialty drug costs on the rise: smallbizadvisor

The link between lifestyle and mental health: smallbizadvisor

Help clients stay on the right side of the law: smallbizadvisor

Healthy weight protects memory: EWSNetwork

Majority of small businesses worry about finances: smallbizadvisor

Community Ethics, Big City Expertise

Subscribe to the Buzz Blog

Blog archive

Unintended Lessons I've learned about Blogging so far

You never know what's going to happen when you click on a link [more]

Drugs, Alcohol and, Oh Yes, Marijuana

Changing times may require all of us to take a long hard look at our drug-and-alcohol policies [more]

Best Tips For Sleeping Well

If you're just not sleeping well, there are some pretty effective things you can do to make it better [more]

Survey Says: Wellness Programs Improve Overall Satisfaction

It seems that employees' satisfaction with wellness programs spills over into satisfaction with their benefits programs and their jobs in general [more]

Changes Coming to Personal Emergency Leave Laws

Amendments to the Employment Standards Act will significantly increase legally mandated employee leaves [more]

The Good News and the Bad News on Diabetes

We keep hearing about a "diabetes epidemic," but there are things we can do now to improve our odds of beating the statistics [more]

Who's Your "Broker" Working For?

In a world of brokers, agents, advisors and consultants, it's important to stay focused on who's really working for you [more]

The Secret to Really Good Workplace Wellness

Workplace wellness is a way to solve a lot of problems before they even come up [more]

Medical Marijuana - More Questions than Answers

A lack of medical consensus makes drug plan coverage of medical marijuana very difficult [more]

Pharmacogenomics Means Better Prescriptions

A simple DNA test can now help pinpoint which drugs are going to work best for you [more]

Why Airplanes Crash

What one successful CEO learned from air crash investigations – and how it all applies to managing any organization [more]

Not A Delicate Subject Anymore...

How to start the conversation about mental health in the workplace [more]

A Look Inside

There's more to this business that we usually talk about... [more]

Bio What-Now?

Get ready for "generic" biologics. [more]

What You Don't Want to Say to Your Doctor

There are some things that you want to explain to your doctor, and some things you really should stay away from. [more]

Your Dentist's Pet Peeve

Why you should know all the ins and outs of your dental insurance plan before you ever lean back in the chair and open wide [more]

About that Credit Card Travel Insurance

It may be of some value, especially if you have no pre-existing conditions, but you really need to read that fine print [more]

Right Drug, Right Time, Right Cost

Why you should work with your doctor, your pharmacist, and your drug plan to make sure you get optimal treatmenty [more]

Big Smiles

A focus on dental plans will ensure that everyone remains happy [more]

Your Doctor Doesn't Know Everything

When it comes to prescriptions, patients need to be part of the conversation [more]

Prescription for Disaster

Advances in pharmaceuticals are threatening your drug plan [more]

Sleep Easy

Conditions like sleep apnea can be treated, ensuring proper rest and productive days [more]

Easy as EAP

Formal support makes a big difference when employees face personal challenges [more]

Well Done

10 ways to develop an effective workplace wellness program [more]

Mind Matters

Businesses can't afford to ignore the mental health of their employees [more]

Brian's Story

Brian Callery is celebrating 40 years in our business. It's a commitment that makes a difference in his clients' businesses [more]

The Benefits to You

The same plans designed to protect employees will also offer advantages to employers [more]

Lawyer Up

There are legal ramifications around changing benefit plans - especially if an employee is being terminated [more]

Travel Trauma

Dream vacations can turn into nightmares when travel insurance claims are denied [more]

Evolution Solution

Evolving benefit plans will meet employee needs and support recruiting and retention efforts [more]

Plan & Predict

How rising paramedical claims, drug reforms, and other trends will affect your workplace benefits [more]

Who Benefits

Education makes the case for workplace benefit plans [more]

Season of Renewal

Important questions to ask your benefits advisor before inking a deal [more]

Preventive Measures

Paramedical services help keep employees healthy, on the job, and productive [more]

A Bounce in Their Step

Canada Rubber Group employees are embracing their new wellness program [more]

Business Benefits

Shandex Group and Indaco Manufacturing discuss the value of evolving employee benefits plans [more]

A New Mindset

Workplaces can't afford to ignore the mental health of employees [more]

Cost Cutters

10 cost-cutting strategies to protect your benefits plan [more]

Safe Travels

12 ways to protect yourself on your next vacation [more]

Breaking News

Learn from the mistakes of an AOL executive when discussing any changes to your benefits plans [more]

Watch the Gaps

Protect against turnover and lost opportunities by recognizing the generation gaps [more]

Generation Next

Generation Y represents the future of your business - and will see workplace benefits plans in a different way [more]

Absent Minded

Employers are paying the price for absenteeism, but it can be controlled [more]

Think Positive

Programs that build positive workplaces make business sense [more]

Back to School

8 important lessons your employees need to learn about benefits plans [more]

Find a Better Broker

6 questions you should ask anyone who wants to sell you a benefits plan [more]

Plan Your ROI

5 ways employee benefits plans can deliver a real Return on Investment [more]

The Benefit of Benefits

3 ways a benefits plan can improve your company's bottom line. [more]

A Healthy Dose of Information

5 questions for your pharmacist that might save your drug plan and your wallet. [more]

Claim Denied

Consider these 8 ways to avoid rejected benefit claims. [more]

Travel Planning

6 questions to ask before assuming you are protected by a group plan's travel insurance. [more]

Biologic Logic

Growing list of biologic drugs could bankrupt poorly protected drug plans. [more]

Smart Shopping

8 shopping habits that will protect your benefits plan. [more]

Tough Medicine

Employees will share more responsibilities and higher costs to sustain their benefits. [more]

Crime Costs

5 scams that could be placing your benefits plan at risk. [more]

A Prescription for Your Drug Plan

Skyrocketing drug prices may be threatening your benefits plan, but generic drugs offer a cure. [more]

Planes, Trains and Travel Insurance

The fine print in your travel insurance may leave you more exposed than you think. [more]

Healthy and Wealthy

5 steps to an employee wellness program that will generate real financial returns. [more]

Avoiding Burnout During Holiday Season

Education and Prevention can help control spiraling benefit costs. [more]

Sweat the Small Stuff

Protect your staff by avoiding these common "paperwork" mistakes by administrators. [more]



Services Personal Services Corporate Services