Published On: Wed, Nov 30th, 2016

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

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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”.

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.

Sleepless

 

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:

Individuals:

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

Employers:

  • 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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