The World Is More Sleep Deprived Than Ever and Our Economies Are Suffering

Beautiful woman sleeping in white bedWe live in a pretty sleepy world. Not only are Americans struggling to get to sleep every night, but people all across the world are sleepier than ever.

As reported on CNN, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that a third of all Americans get less than seven hours of sleep every night. The recommended amount is between seven to nine hours, and anything less can lead to chronic sleep deprivation. Plus, millions more of us are suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia and restless leg syndrome, with 18 million Americans living with sleep apnea.

It’s not just Americans who are suffering. The World Sleep Day Organization explains that lack of sleep is affecting the health of up to 45% of the world’s population.

Let that sink in for a moment. For perspective, this means that over three billion people could be at risk for the health risks that come with not getting enough shut eye every night.

There are plenty of problems that come due to a chronic lack of sleep. Studies have consistently linked sleep deprivation to high blood pressure, a higher risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart attack, paranoia, mood swings, and mental illnesses such as depression.

Earlier this year, the National Safety Council released a report on how sleepiness takes a toll on employees across the country. They found that a full 97% of respondents said their grogginess caused them to feel emotionally drained, 47% admitted to nodding off in the office, and 16% reported at least one safety incident while on the job because they were sleepy.

But the effects of sleepiness aren’t only limited to personal health — the economy can also suffer. RAND Europe completed a study that found the U.S. economy lost a staggering $411 billion, or 2.28% of the U.S. gross domestic product, each year from exhausted and unproductive employees. This was the highest number of all the countries in the world. Japan came in second with $138 billion, or 2.92% of their GDP, and Germany came in third, losing $60 billion, or 1.56% of their GDP.

What’s more shocking is the amount of money those countries would save if the sleepy employees only got one more hour of sleep every night. The U.S. alone would bring back $226.4 billion into the economy.

All due to the lack of sleep. Sleep is a powerful thing, so grab some extra shut-eye tonight. The economy and your health will thank you.

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