What are the economic costs of insufficient sleep?

03 Feb 2022

Insufficient sleep is a public health concern. More and more people are not getting sufficient sleep on a regular basis. 

This trend is concerning because insufficient sleep has been associated to a many detrimental health and social outcomes, including poor occupational performance. Research has accumulated over the last few decades that suggests a link between short sleep duration and increased mortality risks.

Sleep deprivation has far-reaching economic consequences as it negatively impacts health, well-being and productivity. In order to raise awareness of the magnitude of the problem, policymakers, employers and decision-makers need to look at the quantitative numbers to understand the costs of insufficient sleep.  There is a need for more research efforts to quantify the costs of poor sleep and circadian health. 

Cost of productivity loss

Research has reported that the US economy can experience up to $411 billion a year loss due to insufficient sleep. On an annual basis, the US loses an equivalent of about 1.23 million working days due to insufficient sleep. Japan loses on average 604 thousand working days per year. The UK and Germany have similar working time lost, with 207 thousand and 209 thousand days, respectively. 

Another research study reported estimated costs of productivity loss due to disturbed sleep in the US. The estimated annual total cost per employee is $2,516. Moreover, a decrease in productivity related to tiredness or sleepiness is estimated at 4.5-6%. 

How much you would be able to save for a company of 1000 employees

To put these numbers in context: for a company of 1000 employees you could save $2,516,000.00 by avoiding productivity losses due to insufficient sleep and avoid the loss of productivity due to tiredness and sleepiness by 4.5-6% in your workforce. 

LYS has developed a science-based wellbeing programme that helps employees improve their sleep, energy levels and productivity. Learn more about how LYS can save your resources and improve the productivity of the workforce.