That's how much poor sleep may cost the U.S. economy each year because sleep-deprived workers are out sick more than twice as often as everyone else, a new poll shows.
A January Gallup survey of 3,035 adults showed that the 7% of the workforce that’s chronically sleep-deprived averaged 2.29 unplanned absences each month, compared with 0.91 for all other workers. That, in turn, suggests that sleep-deprived workers lose a total of 146 million more work days than others each year, and assuming an average wage of $38.18 an hour, that costs the economy $44.6 billion in lost productivity.
The findings, released Friday as part of a study by Gallup and Casper, a mattress company, is particularly timely given how much sleep is on our minds. Many people are still recovering from the effects of losing an hour’s sleep on March 13 to the annual shift to daylight saving time, and U.S. senators had sleep on their minds this week when they unanimously passed a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent throughout the country beginning in November 2023.
“The effects of darker afternoons on our mental and physical health can be serious,” Sens. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, and Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, wrote in a commentary. “The biannual transition of ‘spring forward’ and ‘fall back’ disrupts circadian sleeping patterns, causing confusion, sleep disturbances, and even an elevated risk to heart health.”
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