Sleep Apnoea and Productivity: Unmasking the Hidden Workplace Challenge

Sleep apnoea can be a hidden workplace challenge. It is estimated that undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea affects up to 4% of the working population, resulting in reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and greater risk for injury due to fatigue. It also increases the risk of long-term health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and heart disease.

The effects of sleep apnoea are not always obvious in the workplace. Those affected may have difficulty staying awake during meetings or feel tired during the workday but often they won’t realise their condition until it has become more severe. Signs that someone may be suffering from sleep apnoea include excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring loudly, and gasping or choking during sleep.

The economic impact of undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnoea can be significant for companies. Sleep apnoea sufferers are more likely to have difficulty concentrating and completing tasks on time, leading to increased errors and reduced productivity levels. They also typically require more frequent breaks due to exhaustion, which can lead to lower overall work performance. In addition, those with sleep apnoea may be at greater risk for workplace accidents due to fatigue-related impairment.

Treating sleep apnea is an effective way to reduce its negative effects in the workplace. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy is the gold standard of treatment for most cases of obstructive sleep apnea and is the most effective way to reduce snoring and improve sleep quality. With a diagnosis and appropriate treatment, individuals with sleep apnea can rest assured that their workplace performance won’t be negatively affected by their condition.

By recognising the signs of sleep apnoea in employees and offering support for those seeking diagnosis and treatment, employers can help protect against the economic and health-related impacts of this common yet often overlooked condition. Taking steps to address potential cases of sleep apnoea in the workplace can benefit both employers and employees alike. As such, it should be taken seriously as an important factor for workplace productivity.