It’s often said that few things will help you fall asleep like reading (but not on your phone!) In 2018, one of the best-selling health books worldwide was about the connection between sleep and practically everything else about being human. Including serious illness and even death.
“Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker, director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, was praised by everyone from Bill Gates to former NASA scientists. In a recent interview, the author drilled down on one of his most urgent findings.
“Every disease that is killing us in developed nations has causal and significant links to a lack of sleep,” he asserts.
Sleep should be a vital sign
Walker’s quote is something that everyone in the sleep health world takes to heart. Nox Health President and Chief Growth Officer Heidi Anderson takes it one step further, when she says that “sleep should be a vital sign, something your doctor immediately asks you about.”
Heidi’s words underline a key discovery by Nox that is hitting home with employers who are putting out billions in chronic care benefits: sleep is not just recuperative, but is actually a crucial intervention strategy for chronic disease management. And when therapy is introduced and adhered to, overall employee health care costs come way down, by thousands of dollars per employee.
A proven connection
The Centre for Disease Control says the main conditions related to sleep issues are type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression. And while chronic diseases can occur at any age, in October, 2022, a study of 8,000 UK civil servants revealed that people who slept five hours or less a night faced a 30% higher risk of developing multiple chronic diseases over time, than those who slept seven or more hours.
The financial costs of poor sleep are just as serious: on average, poor-sleeping members cost health plans about double that of average employees, precisely due to their chronic comorbidities.
These statistics are just a fraction of the evidence that make the connection between poor sleep and poor health. The third part of the equation, higher care costs, is just as well-documented efficacy. But so is the remarkable efficacy of sleep therapy. Our comprehensive, coordinated, and continuous approach, which results in greater adoption and adherence, has been proven over a decade to lead to significantly lower costs for employers: an average of $2,000 to $4,000 less per employee.
All this from a state-of-the-art, easy to use telehealth program that anyone, anywhere can start using within a week.
Whole care for whole people
Effective chronic disease management is increasingly being seen through a whole-person lens. That’s why Heidi’s vital sign analogy makes so much sense.
“When we asked our clients why they choose Nox,” Heidi says, “it was the fact that we’re the only end-to-end solution — treating insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and more — that marries tech with essential and ongoing human touch, plus behavioral care… all of it leading to great results adherence.”
That adherence could be the crucial factor. “When you get people on a solution and keep them on it, the benefits are exponential,” Heidi explains.
That’s because one person’s health affects many other people, from family members to co-workers and beyond. If you can help an employee be more productive and content through sleep therapy while simultaneously improving one or more chronic health conditions, a whole lot of people will end up feeling — and even sleeping — a whole lot better.