Lack of Sleep Costs US Economy $411 Billion Annually

Even changing sleep habits by 1 hour can make a big difference.
Even changing sleep habits by 1 hour can make a big difference.

HealthDay News — Reduced productivity and an increased mortality risk linked to lack of sleep among US workers cost the nation's economy as much as $411 billion a year, more than 2% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), according to a report from the RAND Corp., a nonprofit research organization.

The United States suffers the largest economic toll and most working days lost due to sleep deprivation, compared with 4 other developed countries examined by the researchers.

Japan is second, losing up to $138 billion annually, which is 2.92% of its GDP. Japanese workers lose an average of 604 000 working days to a lack of sleep, the researchers found. Germany loses up to $60 billion a year, or 1.56% of its GDP. An average of 209 000 working days are lost to sleep deprivation in Germany, according to the report. The United Kingdom loses up to $50 billion annually, or 1.86% of its GDP to a lack of sleep. Approximately 207 000 working days are lost as a result of poor sleep in the United Kingdom. Canada was last on the list, but still loses about $21.4 billion to sleep deprivation. That's 1.35% of Canada's GDP. About 78 000 working days are lost.

"Our study shows that the effects from a lack of sleep are massive. Sleep deprivation not only influences an individual's health and well-being but has a significant impact on a nation's economy, with lower productivity levels and a higher mortality risk among workers," lead author Marco Hafner said in a RAND news release. "Improving individual sleep habits and duration has huge implications, with our research showing that simple changes can make a big difference. For example, if those who sleep under 6 hours a night increase their sleep to between 6 and 7 hours a night, this could add $226.4 billion to the US economy."

Reference

Lack of sleep costing US economy up to $411 billion a year. Rand Corp. http://www.rand.org/news/press/2016/11/30.html. Accessed December 1, 2016.

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