A recent report by the Rand Corporation estimated that sleep deprivation is costing the US economy $411 billion dollars, by way of employee disengagement and rising healthcare costs.
As a response to this sleep epidemic, Arianna Huffington launched recently launched her new platform Thrive Global, a site dedicated to health and wellness with a particular focus on sleep. Through this platform, Huffington and other celebrities like Jeff Bezos, Tina Fey, and Selena Gomez talk about the importance of rest and how it leads to increased success.
In a country with thousands upon thousands of entrepreneurs — who are specifically prone to burnout by working long hours and getting little sleep — Huffington’s push for Z-catching is certainly good news.
However, roughly 60 million Americans aren’t electively awake at all hours of the night: they suffer from insomnia. To that end, biotech startups are raising capital for better solutions. For instance, Blake Insomnia Therapeutics is conducting a single-digit million dollar raise to help them innovate products that induce sleep in a more efficient way, addressing the fact that popular sleep aids like Lunesta and Ambien can still cause drowsiness during the day, which is not conducive to mental clarity or productivity.
Insomnia itself costs the US government between $15 and $92 billion alone in healthcare costs and loses about $63.2 billion per year in employee productivity; even more devastating, statistics show that 100,000 vehicle accidents occur each year due to drowsy driving. As such, Blake Insomnia is working with a compound (branded as Zleepax), which uses a beta blocker as its primary ingredient, thereby reducing the side effects of drowsiness or restless sleep.
But for those who are looking to get a better sleep and improve their productivity the natural way, the number one remedy may be to disconnect from technology a few hours before bed, according to Huffington.
With the invention of the smartphone, we have a portal to everything we have to think about each day – our to do list, constant texts, work emails, mindless internet surfing , so it’s no wonder that we can’t turn off our brains.
In fact, research study by the University of Zurich found that those who constantly use their smartphones have an elevated level of brain activity every time they touch their fingers to their phone’s screen, which leads to severe stress on the mind.
In the same vein, according to Addiction Tips, keeping one’s phone next to the pillow is the worst thing you can do for your sleep; when you look at your phone, it confuses your melatonin levels and can lead to insomnia.
For a better night’s sleep, experts suggest leaving your phone in another room and disconnecting from all technology a couple hours before bed, allowing your brain to wind down. Since many of us are addicted to our phones and are afraid to miss work messages, this will be difficult. But ultimately, better rest leads to increased productivity, which may just increase our career success — and lead to a better quality of life.