10 Surprising Costs of Bad Sleep

15 March 2022

Manasseh Franklin

If you’ve ever experienced a night of bad sleep (and who among us hasn’t), you’re familiar with the after-effects: trouble concentrating, irritability, forgetfulness, fatigue. Your productivity at work slows to a crawl and you may be distracted by the overwhelming desire to take a nap.

In the US, one-third of the adult population suffers from insufficient sleep. It's so prevalent, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared it a public health problem. And while you may feel the individual effects on your well being or productivity, they reverberate throughout economic and healthcare systems, amounting to significant costs and impacts.

Here’s a by the numbers look at the economic, health and social costs of bad sleep.

$411 billion –– annual productivity losses in the US due to insufficient sleep, according to the research group Rand . That amounts to 2.28 percent of the nation’s GDP.

1.2 million working days are lost on an annual basis in the US due to insufficient sleep .

$825,559,397 –– dollar amount Americans spent on the natural sleep supplement Melatonin in 2020, a 42.6% year over year increase .

cost of sleep

$94.9 billion –– annual healthcare cost to treat sleep disorders in the US.

13% higher mortality risk among people who sleep less than 6 hours per night compared to those who sleep 7-9 hours. Causes of death include car accidents, stroke, cancer and cardiovascular disease .

71,000 people in the US suffer injuries due to sleep-related accidents annually .1,550 people die.

40% greater likelihood of being obese among adults who get less than 5 hours of sleep per night, as opposed to 7-8 hours, according to one epidemiological study .

34-48% of older adults in the US suffer from insomnia, with women having a 40% higher likelihood of developing it than men.

40% deficit in the brain’s ability to make new memories when sleep deprived.

41% of primary care patients reported experiencing night sweats in the last month. The ideal room temperature for sleep is 65 ° - 68 °F.

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