US Economy Loses Billions Due to Lack of Sleep

More than $411 billion a year is lost in the US due to lower productivity levels.
More than $411 billion a year is lost in the US due to lower productivity levels.

HealthDay News -- According to a report from the RAND corporation -- a nonprofit research organization -- reduced productivity and an increased mortality risk associated with lack of sleep among US workers cost the nation's economy as much as $411 billion a year, which is more than 2% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

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 [press release]. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation; November 29, 2016.

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