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Lack of sleep costing US economy up to $411 BILLION per year, Report

A study found the US suffers more than UK, Canada, Germany, Japan; The US loses 1.2 million working days a year to inefficient or absent employees who are exhausted from a lack of sleep


A sleep deprivation have a significant effect on the U.S economy. A lack of sleep among the working population is costing the country up to $411 billion a year, which is 2.28 percent of its GDP, a new report reveals. While increasing nightly sleep from under six hours to between six and seven hours could add $226.4 billion to the U.S. economy.

Sleeping between seven and nine hours per night is described as the “healthy daily sleep range”.

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According to researchers sleep deprivation increases the risk of mortality by 13 per cent and leads to the U.S. losing around 1.2 million working days a year.

Productivity losses at work occur through a combination of absenteeism, employees not being at work, and presenteeism, where employees are at work but working at a sub-optimal level.

The study at the not-for-profit RAND Corporation, ‘Why Sleep Matters – The Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep’- is the first of its kind to quantify the economic losses due to lack of sleep among workers in five different countries – the U.S, UK, Canada, Germany, and Japan.



Marco Hafner, the research leader says: “Our study shows that the effects from a lack of sleep are massive. Sleep deprivation not only influences an individual’s health and wellbeing but has a significant impact on a nation’s economy, with lower productivity levels and a higher mortality risk among workers.”

“Improving individual sleep habits and duration has huge implications, ” Hafner added, “with our research showing that simple changes can make a big difference.”

  • The U.S. has the biggest financial losses (up to $411 billion, which is 2.28 percent of its GDP) and most working days lost (1.2 million) due to sleep deprivation among its workforce.
  • This was closely followed by Japan (up to $138 billion, which is 2.92 percent of its GDP, and around 600, 000 working days lost).
  • Germany (up to $60 billion, which is 1.56 percent of its GDP, and just over 200, 000 working days lost) and the U.K (up to $50 billion, which is 1.86 percent of its GDP, and just over 200, 000 working days lost) have similar losses.
  • Canada was the nation with the best sleep outcomes, but still has significant financial and productivity losses (up to $21.4 billion, which is around 1.35 percent of its GDP, and just under 80, 000 working days lost).

To improve sleep outcomes, the report outlines a number of recommendations for individuals, employers and public authorities:


The report outlines a number of recommendations for individuals, employers and public authorities:


  • Set consistent wake-up times
  • Limit the use of electronic items before bedtime
  • Physical exercise during the day


  • Recognize the importance of sleep and the employer’s role in its promotion
  • Design and build brighter workspaces with facilities for daytime naps; combat workplace psychosocial risks
  • Discourage the extended use of electronic devices after working hours

Public authorities:

  • Support health professionals in providing sleep-related help

  • Encourage employers to pay attention to sleep issues

  • Introduce later school starting times





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