Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder and exacts a significant toll on an individual’s mental and physical health, quality of life and productivity. But the consequences of insomnia go well beyond the individual, with cascading effects on families, employers and global economies.
The findings from the study show that chronic insomnia, which is defined as insomnia symptoms experienced at least 3 times per week for at least 3 months and impairment to daily activities, is associated with reduced productivity in the workplace due to absenteeism and presenteeism, resulting in the loss of an average of 44–54 working days per year and, consequently, a substantial loss to annual GDP.
While approximately half of all adults are expected to experience some insomnia symptoms across the countries studied, one in 12 adults (approx. 8%) suffer from chronic insomnia.
The annual economic cost of chronic insomnia due to productivity loss and in terms of gross domestic product (GPD) output, ranges from $1.8 billion in Portugal to $207.5 billion in the US. In terms of percentage of total GDP, this ranges from 0.64% in Austria to 1.31%, each, in the UK and Switzerland.
Study co-author, Dr. Robert Romanelli, of RAND Europe said, “Understanding the broader societal effects of insomnia is crucial in identifying opportunities for scalable interventions designed to improve individual health, well-being and productivity of individuals.
¨Unfortunately, insomnia is often underdiagnosed, suggesting that many people are not getting the clinical support they need.”