On World Sleep Day (Friday 17th March), Marco Hafner, a senior economist at RAND Europe and lead author of Why sleep matters—the economic costs of insufficient sleep, and Wendy M. Troxel, senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation, are available for interviews to talk about the significant economic costs of insufficient sleep.
The report states that insufficient sleep among the U.S. working population is costing the economy up to $411 billion a year, which is 2.28 per cent of the country's GDP.
Lack of sleep among the U.S. working population leads to a higher mortality risk—13 per cent higher for those who sleep on average less than six hours compared to those who sleep on average seven to nine hours—and lower productivity levels at work—the U.S. loses just over 1.2 million working days a year due to lack of sleep among the working population. These factors combined have a significant impact on the nation's economy.
The report states that multiple factors are associated with shorter sleep. These include obesity, excessive alcohol and sugary drink consumption, smoking, lack of physical activity, mental health problems, long-term health conditions, stress at work, shift work/irregular working hours, financial concerns, and long commuting.
RAND Europe's study was 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. The study used a large employer-employee dataset and data on sleep duration from the five countries to quantify the predicted economic effects from a lack of sleep among its workforce. This includes data from VitalityHealth's Britain's Healthiest Workplace study.
Marco Hafner and Wendy M. Troxel will be presenting at the upcoming national School Start Time Conference on adolescent sleep, health, and school start times to be held in Washington, DC on 27th and 28th April.