The Unexpected Way Sleeping Better Can Save Your Job

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It makes sense that being well-rested will improve your job performance. However, some things that affect your career aren't always about willpower. A new study has found a correlation between one chronic health condition and losing your job.

Sleep apnea "involves the repeated collapse of the upper airway during sleep," according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Common warning signs include snoring, choking, or gasping during sleep. Untreated sleep apnea can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and impairments in cognitive functioning." Researchers have found that moderate to severe sleep apnea, especially if it's untreated, could be a factor in having multiple layoffs or firings.

The good news is that sleep apnea is pretty treatable. The Mayo Clinic says that milder cases can be addressed with lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking or sleeping on your side. Cases like the AASM researchers describe could involve a little more. A doctor would probably send you to a sleep disorder center, where you'll do some tests either at a facility or at home. More intensive cases might call for a CPAP machine, which looks a bit like an oxygen mask you wear at night. It's covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.

You've got other ways of maintaining sleep hygiene even if you don't have sleep apnea. Keeping a regular bedtime is super underrated, while coffee might be doing you more harm than good. Definitely talk to a health care professional if you're having problems with sleep, whether it's too little or too much.