New Tool Calculates Cost Of Sleep Disorders

Sep 25, 2017

A new research tool calculates the cost of fatigue for workers. According to the National Safety Council or NSC, untreated sleep disorders play into millions in lost productivity and health care costs.

A new online calculator measures how lack of sleep and work are linked says NSC President and CEO Deborah Hersman.

“An employee with insomnia incurs at least $2,250 in excess health care cost each year and 11 lost days in productivity,” says Hersman.

Other disorders like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome also figure into the cost of fatigue. Dr. Charles Czeisler, director of Sleep Maters initiative at Bringham Health, says the long-term impact of lost sleep is shocking.

“If you look at someone who is 48 years old, and you follow them over 18 years those with severe untreated sleep apnea only 58 percent of them will be alive when it’s time to retire,” he says.

Czeisler says up to 40 percent of workers are suffering from undiagnosed sleep disorders. He says for sleep apnea that number is even higher and the condition is directly linked to high blood pressure and diabetes.

The NSC recommends companies implement sleep health education and screening.

“Employees are so excited and so enthusiastic to see that the employer really cares about their quality of life, about their health and well-being,” Czeisler says.

The research that analyzes federal data finds Indiana has a high prevalence of sleep deficiency.