A recent study suggests that sleep deficiency may be an underlying contributor to poor mental health in physicians. The consequences of shift work, night call and competing demands make sleep deficiency common among healthcare professionals. This can heavily impact their overall quality of life if left unchecked.

More than half of US physicians report burnout, which makes it important to determine if sleep disorders contribute to burnout symptoms. The study took place with 1074 healthcare employees and found that undiagnosed sleep disorders were common among the participating faculty and staff members. “A positive screening result for a sleep disorder was associated with nearly 4-fold increased odds of occupational burnout,” reported the study’s author, Dr. Matthew D. Weaver, PhD, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

It appears that treating sleep disorders could help ease rates of physician burnout. Those who were found to have a sleep disorder were half as likely to report professional fulfillment.

The types of sleep disorders that physicians were found to have varied, but 12% were suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person’s breathing is disrupted during their sleep. It is commonly associated with individuals who snore. When a person regularly stops breathing at night, countless side effects and health conditions will impact daily life. There are many possible health risks caused by untreated sleep apnea, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and increased risk of driving and work-related accidents.

This study also found that more than 90% of sleep disorders found in these physicians were undiagnosed and untreated. SleepMaster Solutions™ offers a free sleep screening to find out if you or someone you love is at risk of a sleep disorder. SleepMaster Solutions™ is America’s #1 Provider of Sleep Solutions.