How we feel affects not only ourselves. It also affects family, friends, colleagues, people we meet in everyday life and the decisions we make - privately and at work.
Just think of the difference in waking up rested or tired. Days when you wake up rested and refreshed, the feeling is almost unbeatable. The day, and yes the whole life, immediately feels better. Any setbacks you face in everyday life do not become insurmountable mountains.
- Humans are designed to sleep a third of the day. But of course it can be tempting to think "I sleep less, so I have more time." But the cost is higher than you think, says Lisa Carpevi, sleep expert.
So many sleep badly
Today, a full 40 percent experience problems with sleep. 74 percent have difficulty sleeping sometimes.
11 percent suffer from insomnia. Insomnia or insomnia means that you have slept poorly for longer than three months and feel that it creates problems even during the day.
This is how you know if you are sleeping too little
With the help of the following questions, you can determine how you feel about sleep, really.
- You sleep too little - at least 2 hours shorter than your actual sleep requirement.
- You have difficulty falling asleep – it takes at least 45 minutes to fall asleep.
- You wake up several times during the night and have difficulty falling back to sleep
- You wake up too early and can't go back to sleep.
If you more than three times per week, at least four weeks in a row, then you should take the problems seriously and try to find a solution, advises Lisa Carpevi. Otherwise, the problems risk becoming more chronic and thus more difficult to solve.
Therefore, sleep is incredibly important
Sleep has several important functions. It provides recovery and rest. But it does more than that.
During sleep we process and sort experiences and emotions, and it is important for our memory. In addition, our immune system, which builds up when we sleep, is activated.
During sleep we repair ourselves, cell renewal takes place and waste products are cleared out. If we sleep poorly over time, the risk of, for example, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity and dementia increases. And lack of sleep almost doubles the risk of suffering from depression.
Sleep is therefore important for our well-being here and now, but also for us to live and be healthy for a long time.
More fights, more accidents and worse training results
If we don't get enough long and good sleep, it affects our ability to empathize, which affects our relationships. We end up in conflicts more easily and our patience wears thin. The ability to perform physically deteriorates and we become more susceptible to infection.
We actually also become a security risk, both at home and at work. There are studies that show that lack of sleep was a contributing factor to the Chernobyl accident.
In England, a fifth of car accidents on motorways are estimated to be caused by lack of sleep.
Poor sleep makes us 12% less efficient at work
Research shows that we can count on a production loss of at least 12 percent when we have slept poorly.
If we have slept poorly and go to work tired, it can actually be classed as sick leave. We simply don't do as good a job then as when we are healthy and fit.
It becomes easier to make mistakes and we get a shorter stub, which can lead to unnecessary misunderstandings and conflicts.
That's how much it costs the companies
Let's do a calculation example for a company with 100 employees and an average salary of SEK 34,000. If we assume that the company reflects the population, then four out of ten – which here means 40 people – in the staff sleep badly.
It will cost the company SEK 3,916,800 per year. It is therefore almost four million that are usually hidden in the income statement, because they simply do not exist in any measurement.
Do you want to calculate what the lack of sleep costs in your particular workplace? Use our cost calculator.
Effects for society
All this poor sleep costs not only in personal suffering and increased risk of accidents. It also affects the entire country's economy. It is estimated to reduce gross national income by approximately 1.5 percent.
In Sweden, it corresponds to 75 billion - only because workers perform worse due to lack of sleep.
The previously mentioned public diseases are also associated with large social costs - in addition to the human suffering, which cannot be measured in kroner and ören.
Dementia alone costs Swedish society 63 billion every year, which is as much as sick leave costs.
- For all these reasons, I have decided to make sure I sleep properly, says Anna Ahrenfelt, Sustain Change's founder.
And a prerequisite for that is that I have a sustainable everyday life, because what I do during the day lays the groundwork for how I get on at night.
Because it's not just about my well-being and my health, but also about my wanting to be a good mother, partner and fellow human being. And it's actually only my responsibility.
Written by SustainChange