Is sleep apnea the next poster child for the wellness revolution?

Traditionally, employee wellness programs concentrate on two areas: exercise and nutrition. But there is a movement to add a "third pillar" to the wellness equation—a new awareness of sleep, or more precisely, the lack of sleep, as a major health and productivity issue.

A significant percentage of sleep problems for workers is linked to obstructive sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that interferes with sleep by restricting oxygen flow to the brain. OSA happens when airwaves are blocked during sleep, causing people to snore and even stop breathing briefly. People with this condition can have their sleep disturbed as many as 80 times an hour, as the brain wakes up just enough to restart the breathing pattern.

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