Ever felt sleepy on the job? If so, you are not alone. Over the last couple years it’s become clear that sleep health impacts job performance and productivity. This has a cost for both the employee and the corporation.
Workers who have sleep breathing disorders (including snoring, sleep apnea, and obesity hypoventilation syndrome) were found to earn less, and this starts up to 8 years before diagnosis. These folks also have higher health care costs, and higher rates of unemployment. Some of the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing may have a role in that the employees are sleepy, may have memory problems or decreased motivation. It’s likely that other sleep disorders have a similar economic impact.
Corporations are also paying a price. Just last year a study showed that employees with insomnia have decreased productivity while they are at work. This is called “presenteeism” as opposed to absenteeism when people are absent. This presenteeism is equivalent to 11.3 days of lost productivity over the course of the year. This costs the corporation about $2280 a year per employee, and is a loss of $63.2 billion when generalized to the total US workforce.
This is just another reason, a compelling one, to get the sleep you need each night.
Note- There are some special populations for whom this issue is even more important, including shiftworkers, and those in the transportation industry. We’ll discuss the sleep and productivity of those populations in future blogposts.