A new report shows a majority of Americans have trouble sleeping at least once a week, which spells trouble for employers when it comes to healthcare costs, accident risk and productivity.
The study, initiated by Packaged Facts, discovered troubled sleep is “normal,” with 82 percent of U.S. adults surveyed indicating they have issues getting rest at least once a week. If extrapolated, this is 206 million of the 249 million U.S. adult population.
"The serious health and well-being consequences associated with sleep disturbance provide the need for treatment options that both address the condition and enhance quality of life—outcomes that walk together hand in hand, but that also often come at a costly expense," said David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts in a statement.
In addition, 39 percent of adults said they have trouble sleeping five or more times per week. A third of those surveyed have one of four major sleep disorders (insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome or narcolepsy).
The total cost of treating sleep disorders such as insomnia exceeds $100 billion annually, contributing significantly to high healthcare costs. Likewise, workplace productivity significantly suffers, and accident risk increases when workers have not had enough sleep.
Sleeping less than seven hours per night is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress, and death, stated Packaged Facts.
Respondents treated their sleeping issues in various ways, including methods prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, health professional treatments, vitamins and supplements; food, vitamin and home treatments and health professional products and retail products.
The report also examines troubled sleepers’ attitudes and behaviors including:
- Quality of life, health and diet and weight management attitudes
- Approaches to pain and illness
- Attitudes toward prescription and non-prescription medication
- Drug marketing and packaging
- Doctor relationships
- Health information gathering and assessment
Harvard Medical researchers estimate more than 274,000 workers are injured each year because of lack of sleep.