December 28, 2016 – Sleep Deprivation Costs the U.S. Economy Billions Each Year
Sleep-deprived Americans are not only hurting their heath, but the economy as well.
The U.S. economy loses up to $411 billion each year in working days lost due to sleep deprivation, according to RAND Corporation study that examined the effects of sleep deprivation in five industrialized countries revealed that.
One reason American adults are sleep deprived is due to excessive electronic media use. Although technology has improved our lives in many ways, many adults are unable to resist the pull from electronic media.
Jan Van den Bulck, a media-effects researcher and a Communication Studies professor at the University of Michigan, said limiting the amount of time spent on electronic media devices, especially at night, is challenging.
“Self-control is like a battery or a muscle – it wears out during the day by using it,” Van den Bulck said. “So by definition, it’s at its lowest right before bed — at the very moment where we need to resist the pull from the media.”
Van den Bulck said one of the ways society can fight back against technology interfering with our sleep is by setting boundaries. This might include company-wide policies discouraging sending and receiving work-related emails at night.