How Much Does Sleep Apnea Cost?
- Posted on: Oct 27 2011
You know the feeling. “Time to get up already?” You don’t want to get out of bed. Heck, you don’t feel much better than when you went to bed! Groggy, sluggish and irritable… you can’t make the coffee strong enough or quick enough. “How am I going to make it through the day?” But there is more to sleep apnea than just feeling like #&*%! It costs you physically, financially and relationally as well. In fact, the National Commission on Sleep Disorders has estimated that sleep deprivation costs the nation $150 billion every year. You will find you’re paying a high price for sleep apnea when you combine this fact with the health risks and damaged relationships that accompany sleepiness caused by sleep apnea. Listed below are five ways in which sleep apnea is costing you real money.
More Out of Pocket Expense
The chosen beverage of sleep-deprived people is caffeine. Energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster; Diet Coke or Mountain Dew; black coffee or tea; all the morning, afternoon and evening trips to Starbucks, these indulgences can quickly add up. For instance, if you buy a Starbucks Latte every day, you can end up spending close to $1,800 per year. You could save money by picking less expensive caffeinated drinks, but most of us don’t. The cost of convenience is another cost that sleep-deprived people often pay. You’re too tired to make dinner so you order a pizza, stop for fast food or take-out instead. The same is true for washing your car, cleaning your house or mowing the lawn. All things you “could do” but more than likely you hire others to do……and these services add up quickly.
More Medical Issues
People who don’t get enough sleep due to sleep apnea develop life threatening health issues, according to published research studies. Sleep apnea increases your risk of stroke and heart disease. In fact, you are 15 % more likely to have a stroke and 48 % more likely to develop heart disease. Additionally, sleep apnea affects appetite hormones. Studies show people who sleep four hours or less each night have a 75% higher chance of being obese, which just makes the sleep apnea worse. Obesity is the #1 sign of probable sleep apnea and snoring is #2. A connection between lack of sleep and an increased risk for colon cancer, breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes was found by a Harvard-run Nurses’ Health Study. And finally, sleep apnea reduces your immunity to disease and viral infections because immune cells stop functioning properly.
Without enough sleep, you are going to be clumsier than normal, which leads to an increase in accidents at home or at the office. Additionally, driving when you are sleepy is as dangerous as driving drunk. Anywhere from 16% to 60% of car accidents involve a sleepy driver and 30 to 40% of all heavy truck accidents are caused by sleep deprivation and fatigue. In fact, sleepy driving causes Americans to spend roughly $48 billion per year to cover accidents.
More Bad Decisions
Your ability to concentrate, short-term memory, ability to handle complex tasks, critical thinking, decision-making skills, your vocabulary and communication skills are all impacted by the lack of sleep caused by sleep apnea. On the job, these can result in poor evaluations, fewer raises and promotions. Sleepy employees cost employers $3,225 more than employees who get enough sleep. Sleepy students don’t score well on tests costing them the colleges they aspired to attend and career paths they select. The overall GPA of a sleep-deprived student compared to a student with adequate rest is 2.84 as compared to 3.18. When you’re tired, you are more likely to make bad decisions, throwing “caution to the wind”! This means that lack of sleep can alter the way you make financial decisions, causing you to take more risk with your finances.
More Relational Difficulties
Sleep apnea can be costing you in the relationship department as well. Grumpy people are typically sleepy people. But sleep apnea also contributes to mood changes including depression, increased irritability and the loss of a sense of humor. Lack of sleep results in a “quick fuse” reducing your threshold for anger management and you can quickly lose friends, make spouses angry, upset negotiations and even get into fights or run someone “off the road”! Who wants to be around you? Meanwhile your stress, anxiety, worry, frustration, and nervousness all increase. You grind your teeth, your neck is killing you and you wonder “what’s wrong with the world?” You may even experience overwhelming feelings of not being able to cope with simple problems and moderate workloads. Finally, the lack of sleep caused by sleep apnea can leave you wanting to avoid group participation or interactions with others. You sit at home too tired to go anywhere and may eventually disengage from the outside world altogether. You call this a life?
Remember sleep is not a luxury but a necessity. Not getting enough sleep is detrimental to your health, relationships and your budget. So when it comes to getting sleep, remember less sleep caused by sleep apnea results in many more problems than just feeling like #&*%!
Click on “Video Library” on this website and watch “The Science of Sleep”. You can thank me later!