Sleep Deprivation Costs $411-B in Lost Productivity Annually
Lots of people skimp on sleep because they feel they have to “get things done.” Meaning, they see sleep deprivation as a means to increase productivity. The evidence clearly shows the folly of this approach, as what you end up with is the complete opposite.
In fact, recent research by the RAND Corporation shows sleep deprivation is costing the US economy $411-B each year in accidents and lost productivity, an amount equivalent to 2.28% of the GDP (gross domestic product). An estimated 1.2-M working days are also lost.
The study, “Why Sleep Matters — The Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep,” is the 1st to actually quantify the economic impact of sleep deprived workers. Japan came in second place, with $138-B in lost productivity (2.92% of GDP), followed by the UK, Germany and Canada.
Sleep-deprived consumers are also spend $66-B each year on sleep aids, including sleeping pills, devices geared toward improving sleep and sleep studies. Projections suggest this expenditure will reach $85-B in Y 2021.
The RAND paper includes a number of recommendations for individuals, employers and public authorities alike:
- On an individual level, the authors suggest setting a consistent wake-up time, limiting your use of electronic devices before bedtime and establishing a regular exercise routine to help you sleep
- Employers are advised to “Recognize the importance of sleep and the employer’s role in its promotion; design and build brighter workspaces; combat workplace psychosocial risks; and discourage the extended use of electronic devices”
- Recommendations for public authorities includes: “Support health professionals in providing sleep-related help; encourage employers to pay attention to sleep issues; and introduce later school starting times”
Please understand that getting less than 6 hours of sleep actually leaves you cognitively impaired and unfit for many tasks.
In Y 2013, drowsy drivers caused 72,000 car accidents in which 800 Americans were killed and 44,000 were injured. This is more than died from those texting and drunk drivers combined.
Even 1 night of sleeping only 4-6 hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day. That said, unless you have a dangerous job, or drive to and from work, you probably will not put other people’s lives at risk.
Your own life remains at stake however, especially if you get less than adequate sleep on a chronic basis.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively
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