Dr. William Dement, founder of the world’s first sleep disorders center at Stanford University and a leading authority on sleep medicine, spoke to Amgen employees in a wellness seminar hosted at their South San Francisco campus on June 18. The presentation was also distributed over Amgen’s internal computer network and made available to approximately 14,000 worldwide employees. Dr. Dement, who is Chief Scientific Advisor for SleepQuest, a leading provider of home sleep testing and treatment, discussed how poor sleep not only impacts the health of individual employees but also directly hits the corporate bottom line from decreased productivity, accidents, and increased health-care costs.
Dr. Dement focuses his presentations on demonstrating that sleep is just as important as diet and exercise for overall health, a factor often overlooked. “The main idea that I try to get across in these seminars is to relate the way you feel to how you sleep,” said Dr. Dement. “If you are feeling drowsy and sluggish from a lack of restful sleep, that is a sign that something could be dangerously wrong.”
Amgen approached SleepQuest and Dr. Dement for this lunchtime seminar in order to help improve employee productivity and reduce absenteeism expenses. Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders are estimated to cost over $100 billion annually in lost productivity, sick leave, medical expenditures, and related issues.
“Since many employers are self-insured, decreasing the cost of health care and keeping people working productively is very important to corporations,” said Robert Koenigsberg, President/CEO, SleepQuest. “Presentations like these help educate their employees on the importance of restorative sleep.”
The understanding of how sleep affects our daily lives is coming into greater focus. Stanford researchers have found that people with mild to moderate sleep apnea scored as poorly on reactiontime tests as legally intoxicated subjects. Studies show a link between inadequate sleep and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and depression.
The webinar presentation reached Amgen employees right at their desktops, greatly broadening the number of possible viewers. Employees were also encouraged to take an online sleep health questionnaire to identify possible problems, and over 550 have participated.
It is SleepQuest’s continuing mission to promote the crucial role that sleep plays in optimal health. To request a SleepQuest wellness seminar for your company call 800-813-8358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.