Chronic sleep deprivation is the enemy of health and economy

A person suffers from chronic insomnia when they have trouble sleeping at least three nights a week for three months. It is a disorder that has negative consequences for health and the economy of developed countries. One study calculates the annual loss of GDP for this reason at 372,000 million euros.

The report reflects “The Social and Economic Burden of Insomnia in Adults”. Produced by RAND Europe, an international non-profit research organization in association with Indorsia. 15% of adults have chronic insomnia.

The aim of the study is to know the effects of sleep deprivation beyond its impact on health and healthcare.

Study in 16 countries

Therefore, it analyzes the consequences of this disorder in relation to indirect economic costs – those that are health care and intangible – that are not directly detected in economic transactions, but have an impact on a person’s health or well-being. -.

It operates in 16 countries including Germany, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Spain, USA, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland.

According to the report, 50% of working adults have symptoms of insomnia, totaling 172 million; up to 25%, clinical insomnia (72 million); and 15%, chronic insomnia (42 million people), its severe form.

Financial impact of not being able to sleep

Sleep deprivation has an economic impact of lost productivity at work each year, as adults who suffer from it are more likely to be absent from work and therefore perform less well.

Specifically, in terms of indirect costs, the report describes, Chronic insomnia is linked to 11-18 days of absence39-45 days of downtime and 44-54 days of general production loss per year.

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In this way, the indirect costs of this disorder related to the loss of labor productivity are between 1,600 and 185,000 million euros, representing a total of 372,000 million euros in gross domestic product (GDP).

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A further 16 countries analyzed annual intangible welfare losses ranging from 1,300 to 113,300 million euros (total of 213,600 million euros).

For Spain, the annual labor productivity loss would be 10,703 million euros.

With all this, the study’s economic projections indicate that eliminating the effects of insomnia through policies of “prevention, education, regular diagnosis and early treatment” will increase productivity at work, which will have a positive impact on the GDP.

Needs restful sleep

Research has also highlighted Intangible costs It creates insomnia because it is linked to a decline in quality of life.

Thus, according to the paper, adults suffering from insomnia are willing to give up 14% of their household’s annual per capita income in exchange for achieving the same level of life satisfaction as those who do not suffer from it.

In this sense, Co-ordinator of Labour, Economy and Business Committee Alliance for the Dream, Dr. Carmen Bellito CambronHe points out that “employees need quality restful sleep” for adequate occupational health.

Chronic insomnia

Bellito, a researcher and coordinator of the Occupational Risk Prevention Service at the Hospital de Castellon, says there is a “bidirectional relationship between sleep and work.”

“If you don’t sleep well at night, you won’t be productive during the day, and you’ll be more disengaged, your job satisfaction will decrease, you’ll be more likely to clash with colleagues at work, and you’ll be unknowingly damaging your physical and mental health,” the researcher points out. .

But in addition, lack of sleep affects the employee’s irritability, resilience, emotional management or conflicts at work, which significantly affects the entire organization, Bellito continues.

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Strategies to counter him

“Any intervention to reduce insomnia, whether at the primary, secondary or tertiary prevention level, will be of great importance to public health and organizations, and will promote better employee health and well-being. It is important for organizations to establish prevention programs for this occupational hazard,” says the expert.

The study emphasizes the need to undertake Many strategies At a political, research and clinical practice level, address and mitigate the effects of this disorder.

Among them: incorporating sleep into national health strategies, promoting public health campaigns that emphasize the importance of adequate sleep hygiene, and systematic early detection of insomnia at routine medical visits through screening.

Likewise, it recommends the establishment of coordinated protocols at various levels to guarantee timely diagnosis and access to treatment for patients.

All of this provides medical schools with “new” training in the disorder and access to and reimbursement for safe, science-backed pharmacological discovery.

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