by Kevin Dickinson –
If you want to get ahead in life, then you’ll need to work hard,
be disciplined, and sacrifice sleep. If you’re asleep, you’re not
working, and if you don’t work constantly, you can never manage
a successful company or create the art that will make you famous.
It’s not just your success on the line, either. Your country’s economy
is counting on you to be a productive member of society. Besides,
there will be plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead.
If you’re thinking these old saws sound dull, you’re right, and
the data agree with you. Insufficient sleep has been linked to a
slew of health issues, such as obesity, hypertension, and heart
disease. It can also cause mood disorders and is a main contributor
to poor work-life balance.
Workers pay and pay often for their poor sleep habits, but since
the best-known ailments of sleep deprivation are personal in
nature, employers and society do little to properly incentivize
good sleep hygiene. But according to a study by Rand Europe,
sleep-deprived Americans will cost the United States economy
up to $434 billion by 2020, and the tab gets larger after that.
Sleep pays for itself
Based on survey data from 62,000 people, Rand Europe created a
bespoke macroeconomic model that stimulated the interactions of
economic agents (workers, companies, governments, etc.). They
ran the model through three scenarios, and the results for 2016,
the year of the study’s release, were staggering.
The United States proved the biggest economic loser, with losses
between $281 and $411 billion. Japan, Germany, Canada, and the
United Kingdom were also modeled, and researchers estimated that all five countries lose “up to $680 billion dollars of economic output every year.”
That’s the bad news. The worst news is that these economic losses
increase slightly in magnitude over time, meaning we forfeit more
every year we don’t devise solutions for our societal sleep deprivation.
In 2020, the U.S. is estimated to lose between $299 and $434 billion. By 2030, the amount will be between $330 and $468 billion.
Invested properly, these amounts could easily fund tuition-free public colleges and provide health care coverage for uninsured families, with change to spare (or, you know, it could develop one-third of an F-35 fighter jet).
(For the balance of this article visit: https://bigthink.com/kevin-dickinson/bad-sleep-habits-will-cost-the-us-434-billion-in-2020)