Jan 4, 2008

Lack of sleep for New Zealanders costs billions

A December 8 article in the New Zealand Herald cited sleep experts and labor officials who said the cost of inadequate sleep is "up there with the big public health epidemics" and that the costs include health costs and lost productivity.

The article says "lack of sleep was linked to diabetes, obesity, heart problems, strokes, hypertension and some cancers," as well as one of the leading causes of car crashes.

According to Labour Minister Trevor Mallard "there were real safety concerns about fatigue in the workplace." The Labour Department will be releasing guidelines on managing shiftwork and fatigue and include advice on working a safe number of hours, recovery time between shifts, and training and education.

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