With 1,000+ start-ups working on transforming different aspects of the healthcare system, choosing the right partner to address a problem can seem overwhelming. Tackling poor sleep is no exception. With several solutions in the market to help your employees sleep better, it’s wise to peek under the covers before you jump in bed with one of these vendors.
When looking for a sleep solution, start by determining the health issue you want to address. There’s a clinical difference between sleep apnea and sleep disruption/insomnia and they require entirely different approaches.
Sleep Apnea is a disorder of breathing that occurs during sleep. It can be caused by structural problems that collapse the airway or by neurological problems that decrease the respiratory drive. This is diagnosed by a sleep study that records the number of events during sleep where people stop breathing and also records the blood oxygen level. With a diagnosis of sleep apnea there are a number of very specific clinical interventions that can be taken. It is very important to diagnose this and treat it, as it puts a person at risk for heart disease and stroke.
Insomnia and other sleep disorders can occur for many reasons and in conjunction with a number of other diagnoses, including (but not limited to) behavioral health and substance use disorders. There are also a number of sleep health habits that can be learned to improve the quality of sleep. Many people who have insomnia can experience worrisome thoughts that are hard to “turn off” when they go to bed. This is where the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach can be helpful as a way to train yourself to resolve concerns and relax enough to go to sleep. There is also the usual list of healthy sleep habits that can help a person get restorative sleep.
Once you’ve identified the problem you’re trying to address, you’ll be able to narrow down the list of sleep solutions and select the right fit for your organization.