Lack of sleep comes with a pricetag for society, study reveals

With demanding lifestyles both socially and professionally, one in every three adults suffers from inadequate sleep. Do you know at what cost?

Sleep has become a luxury for some in an age of single parents, social media, and scrambled schedules. The number of people who suffer from inadequate sleep is significant and increasing - and that lack of sleep actually comes with a pricetag.

For the first time ever, researchers out of Australia counted the cost of inadequate sleep from the health and safety perspectives, along with losses from decreased productivity in the workplace.

Costs related to health care needs, even for the time taken to talk about healthy sleep with a doctor, motor vehicle accidents, work place injuries, reduced employment and early retirement, days absent from work, lack of productivity, and premature mortality were all rolled into the estimate.

Here it is: the cost of inadequate sleep in 2016-2017 was an astonishing $45.21 billion. This equates to $6,117 for each person not sleeping enough, in both financial and wellbeing costs. The cost of hospital care, doctors, medications, and tests, alone? That was $1.24 billion, a large chunk of change.

Of course, this is all an estimate, but inadequate sleep is has a real association with many medical problems - heart failure, diabetes, depression, and stroke - and society pays a cost.

How to lower that cost? Healthy sleep, going to sleep at the same time every night (weekends too), using the bedroom for sleeping only, and cutting down on caffeine and bright lights before bed will all help.
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