Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Insomnia and Workplace Productivity

Many people suffer from insomnia, a sleep disorder involving difficulty falling or staying asleep. People with insomnia often wake up too early in the morning and/or feel tired upon waking. Getting a good night's sleep is crucial to your health; lack of sleep can hinder your mood, ability to concentrate, and memory, as well as increase your risk for disease. 

According to a nationwide survey, approximately 1 in 4 workers in the United States has insomnia. With decreased concentration and focus and increased sluggishness and fatigue, insomnia costs U.S. employers a staggering $63 billion in lost productivity annually.  While most insomniacs won't skip work due to poor sleep, the study found insomnia is responsible for 252 million lost days of productivity every year. This means every sleep-deprived worker sees eight days of lost productivity. 

Some other key findings of the survey include:
  • 23% of workers are sleep deprived because of insomnia
  • Only 14% of seniors have insomnia
  • 27% of women have insomnia, compared to 20% of men
  • Employers lose $2,300 each year for every worker with insomnia

The situation in the UK may be even worse. One study (, found that: insomnia is costing the average worker 11.3 days, or approximately £1,400 in lost productivity every year.  This equates to billions for the nation as a whole.

It's clear that sleep-deprivation is a big problem among workers. Stuart MacFarlane, a psychotherapist and Jungian analyst, suggests workers try psychotherapy to overcome their sleep troubles. While there are many forms of psychotherapy, it generally involves talking to a therapist to gain a better understanding of yourself to change and overcome your problems. With psychotherapy, insomniacs can discover the cause of their sleep problems, whether it be a pre-existing health condition or behavioral factors, and make the necessary lifestyle changes to overcome insomnia.

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