The Economic Reason Sleep Matters

The CDC has declared insufficient sleep as a public health problem. In fact, according to a recent study, more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. Given the potential adverse effects of insufficient sleep on health, well-being, and productivity, the consequences of sleep deprivation have far-reaching economic consequences. The U.S. sustains by far the highest economic losses — up to $411 billion a year. On an annual basis, the U.S. loses an equivalent of about 1.23 million working days due to insufficient sleep. That’s why the CDC is now looking for potential solutions that can help tackle the problem. Recommendations to overcome sleep deprivation include setting consistent wake-up times, limiting the use of electronic devices before bedtime, and increased exercise. Employers are encouraged to recognize the importance of sleep and design brighter work spaces, combat workplace psychological risks, and discourage the extended use of electronic devices. Public authorities are pledging to support health professionals in providing sleep-related help, encourage employers to pay attention to sleep issues, and introduce later school starting times.