Zombie Nation: Fluorescent Lights Rob us of Sleep

Study shows the financial impact of insomnia

With the return of one of the most popular and engrossing cable television shows of all time, AMC’s The Walking Dead, our fascination with the undead continues to reach ghastly levels. However, if you want to see the real walking dead, take a stroll around the office or a classroom. Insomnia affects an estimated one-third of Americans, causing a ridiculous amount of productivity loss for businesses.

A comprehensive study titled INSOMNIA AND PERFORMANCE OF US WORKERS released in 2011 by Dr. Ronald Kessler, PhD (Harvard University) details the enormous cost of insomnia to our society. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • An estimated 50-70 million people are reporting nighttime sleep loss associated with daytime impairment.
  • Workplace accidents, absenteeism and lost productivity cost US businesses somewhere between $15 billion and $92 billion.
  • Insomnia was significantly associated with lost work performance due to presenteeism (simply put: showing up for work but not really working). This amounted to an annual capital roughly the value of $2,280 per employee.

While there can be many factors to insomnia, one contributing factor is due to the body’s production of serotonin and melatonin. You may have heard of the circadian rhythm. Basically, it is our day-night cycle. Human beings are children of the sun, and our bodies are finely tuned to its full spectrum light. Exposure to direct sunlight allows our body to produce serotonin. Then at night, a small little part of your brain called the pineal gland converts serotonin to melatonin, the hormone which makes you fall into a deep slumber. Lack of full spectrum light throws the circadian rhythm out of whack and turns us into workplace zombies.

Unfortunately, you can forget about getting exposure to the sun from a window because glass blocks the spectrum. While turning off the fluorescent lights and drawing open the shades may be easier on the eyes, you are not getting the main benefits of sunlight exposure. Make Great Light filters are the only fluorescent light filters that convert fluorescent light to full spectrum light.

So while the fictional zombie apocalypse plays out on the small screen, you can guard yourself and your fellow coworkers from turning into real-life zombies. Better sleep = a happier, more productive you.

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