Sleep Deprivation

V. Key Issues: Population Health >> E. Health Promotion >> Sleep Deprivation (last updated 12.31.16)


Minimum Recommended Amount of Sleep 

Extent of Sleep Deprivation

Economic Impact

  • One study in Australia calculated the cost of sleeplessness at 0.8 percent of GDP.
  • U.S. companies lose $63.2 billion a year in productivity losses from workers with insomnia (who lose an average of 7.8 days of productivity per year).
  • People waste 8.4 minutes online for every hour of disrupted sleep the previous night.

Impact on Traffic Safety

  • AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
    • Acute Sleep Deprivation and Crash Risk. Previous research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has estimated as many as 7% of all crashes, 13% of crashes that result in hospital admission, and 21% of fatal crashes involve driver drowsiness. However, the relationship between specific measures of sleep deprivation and crash risk has not been quantified in the general driving population. The results of this study indicate that drivers who usually sleep for less than 5 hours daily, drivers who have slept for less than 7 hours in the past 24 hours, and drivers who have slept for 1 or more hours less than their usual amount of sleep in the past 24 hours have significantly elevated crash rates. The estimated rate ratio for crash involvement associated with driving after only 4-5 hours of sleep compared with 7 hours or more is similar to the U.S. government’s estimates of the risk associated with driving with a blood alcohol concentration equal to or slightly above the legal limit for alcohol in the U.S.
    • Drowsy Driving. A Foundation study completed in November 2014 found the impact of having drowsy drivers on the road is considerable. Drowsy drivers are involved in an estimated 21% of fatal crashes, up from 16.5% from the previous 2010 study, as most drivers drift out of their lanes or off the road. Drivers themselves are often crash victims who die in single-car crashes.
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A survey published by the CDC in 2013 found that one in 25 people admitted to having fallen asleep while driving during the previous month. To put that in perspective, mathematical models based on this data imply that an estimated 15 to 33 percent of all fatal crashes in the United States might involve a drowsy driver.



One Response to Sleep Deprivation

  1. Franklyn Borries says:

    Sleep deprivation is really bad and it can lead to a lot of health problems. Alwys take at least 7 hours of sleep. `.”;’

    My own, personal website

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