The price of insomnia

Oct 04 2011 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Insomnia is costing the US economy some $63 billion a year in lost productivity, with every unfortunate sufferer costing their employer between $2,280 and $3,274 annually.

That's according to a study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of Michigan which, according to HREOnline, is (rather surprisingly) the first of its kind to focus on the impact of insomnia in the workplace.

The researchers quizzed some 10,000 employed adults and found that almost a quarter Ė some 23 per cent - sometimes suffer from insomnia

"We were shocked by the enormous impact insomnia has on the average person's life," lead author Ronald Kessler, professor of healthcare policy at Harvard Medical School, said in a statement quoted by UPI.

"It's an underappreciated problem. Americans are not missing work because of insomnia. They are still going to their jobs, but accomplishing less because they're tired. In an information-based economy, it's difficult to find a condition that has a greater effect on productivity."

"Now that we know how much insomnia costs the American workplace, the question for employers is whether the price of intervention is worthwhile," he added. "Can U.S. employers afford not to address insomnia in the workplace?"