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Sleep deprivation also has impact on national health


Work-related sleeping disorders have proliferated rapidly in recent years with increases in occupational stress and abnormal working hours. ”Sleep deprivation affects a person’s emotional and mental faculties and increases the risk of, for example, cardiovascular diseases. Work-related sleeping disorders and changes in lifestyle due to occupation are key factors affecting national health,” says Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Senior Researcher, Mikko Härmä, speaking at an Academy of Finland breakfast conference.

According to Härmä, the prevention of work-related sleeping disorders will require an even more effective resolution of time management and occupational measurement problems as well as a greater appreciation of sleep and work recovery throughout society.

According to working conditions studies, Finns have shown a sharp increase in sleeping disorders since the 1970s. The most recent study conducted, in 2003, found that 36% of the women surveyed reported that they had trouble sleeping at least once every week. The figure for men was 27%. In 1997 the same figures were 26% for women and 20% for men. According to a recent Finnish Institute of Occupational Health study, at least 10% of a normal process supervisor’s working time is spent in a state of microsleep or dozing, when the job is particularly detailed or it is preceded by a state of partial sleep deprivation.

”In national health matters sleep and recovery should be included with illness prevention as part of a daily routine. In addition to emphasising specific routines, such as nutrition, smoking, alcohol and exercise, the most fundamental causes should also be addressed, i.e. how can the requirements for living a healthy life be practically supported in today’s 24-hours-a-day workplace?,” says Härmä.

Riitta Tirronen | alfa
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