I’d have pretty good odds if I bet “Under 7 Hours.” Americans currently average 6.8 per night – down an entire hour from 1942. But hey, we’re spending our time well, binge watching Orange is the New Black, right?
The Brigham Health Sleep Matters Initiative for the National Safety Council (NSC) just released new research that estimates an employer with 1,000 employees will experience sleep disorder and sleep deprivation costs of $1.4M annually in absenteeism, decreased productivity and healthcare expense. Scaled to the average-sized Fortune 500 Company, that number reaches $80M!
Now, I realize that’s a combination of direct and indirect costs, which can be hard to measure – but let’s be honest with ourselves. We can all relate to feeling the effects of a compressed sleep schedule (whether binge-watching or jet-lagging), and not being nearly as productive, creative or focused as we typically might be.
If you haven’t played around with the NSC’s Fatigue Cost Calculator for Employers, it’s worth checking out. You can customize for geography, industry and a shift workforce to get an estimated impact of sleep deprivation on your workforce.
There are a number of sleep-focused startups trying to make a difference in this space – SleepMed, Sleepio, Optisom and Fusion Health come to mind – each pulling on various levers, like sleep tests for diagnosis and cognitive behavior therapy for ongoing support. And behavioral health companies are building in modules to support sleep hygiene because of the obvious linkages there, as well.
Made it this far without nodding off? Congratulations! You’ve earned a few sleep hygiene tips, from me to you:
Good luck sleeping more than 7 hours tonight!