Bad sleep habits cost companies over $136 billion in lost productivity

So you got a bad night of sleep? Maybe you are a bit tired at work the next morning? Maybe this actually happens a few nights per week? No big deal, right? WRONG.

So you got a bad night of sleep? Maybe you are a bit tired at work the next morning? Maybe this actually happens a few nights per week? No big deal, right? WRONG.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), fatigued workers cost employers about $1,200 to $3,100 per employee in declining job performance each year, while sleepy workers are estimated to cost employers $136 billion a year in health-related, lost productivity. On top of that, almost 13% of work injuries are attributable to sleep deprivation

“Sleepless nights hurt everyone,” NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P Hersman said in a press release. “Many of us have been conditioned to just power through our fatigue, but worker health and safety on the job are compromised when we don’t get the sleep we need. Doing nothing to address fatigue, costs employers a lot more than they think.”

Some industries are more impacted than others

A recent CDC analysis found that the jobs with the highest rates of short sleep duration were communications equipment operators (58.2%), other transportation workers (54%) and rail transportation workers (52.7%). Sleep deprivation also especially hurts night shift workers, with 15% of full-time employees who do shift-work suffering from chronic sleep loss, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics.

This is part of the reason The National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project has partnered with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Sleep Research Society (SRS) and the National Safety Council (NSC) to launch the “Sleep Works for You” campaign.

It is all about helping employers encourage their workers to have healthier sleep habits whether it be through education around sleep health and sleep disorders and strategies to help improve alertness on the job.

“Working long hours and sleeping less than the recommended seven or more hours has become a badge of honor in many industries, despite evidence that proves a lack of sleep hurts productivity, safety, and overall health,” AASM President Dr. Ilene Rosen said. “It is essential for employers to promote health and safety by creating a workplace culture that values the importance of sleep.”

Perhaps as a result of this, we might start to see more companies taking cues from Google and Facebook and setting up nap rooms.

Meredith Lepore|is the Deputy Editor of Ladders and can be reached at mlepore@theladders.com.