How does widespread insomnia affect society?

There are broader, collective consequences to society that come from insomnia. One study attempted to quantify the economic costs of the sleep disorder, and found that insomnia is associated with an estimated $31 billion in workplace costs resulting from accidents and errors that happen on the job.

Researchers analyzed data from 4,991 adults, all of whom were employed and had health insurance. Using a diagnostic questionnaire, researchers evaluated participants for insomnia, as well as collecting information on 18 other chronic health conditions that might affect workplace performance. They examined the incidence of insomnia and these other health problems to determine a possible link between the insomnia and workplace errors and accidents. To narrow in on the financial cost of insomnia-related problems in the workplace, researchers inquired specifically about accidents or mistakes on the job that resulted in “damage or work disruption with a value of $500 or more.” They found that a link between insomnia and workplace accidents or errors was both common and costly. Among the study results:
  • An estimated 20% of adults had experienced some form of insomnia for at least a year
  • Insomnia was associated with 7% of costly workplace accidents and errors, and with 23.7% of the total costs of these problems
Based on their results, researchers estimated that a total of 274,000 accidents and errors transpire in the workplace every year, as a result of insomnia, at a total estimated cost of $31 billion.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.