The $63 Billion Cost of Insomnia: By the Numbers

With the average worker losing 11.3 days of productivity to insomnia each year, employers should be losing sleep

Not sleeping enough can have serious health costs. But it can have pretty big financial costs, too, according to a new study in the journal Sleep. Insomnia is “an under-appreciated problem,” says lead author Ronald Kessler, at Harvard Medical School. “Americans are not missing work because of insomnia,” but they are doing lousy work because they’re tired. “It’s difficult to find a condition that has a greater effect on productivity.” How great is the hit to our economy, and our lives? Here, the numbers:


Days the average worker loses to insomnia each year


Estimated cost of that insomnia, in lost productivity, per worker

50-70 million

Estimated number of American employees who report being impaired during the day due to poor sleep

$63.2 billion

Cost of that lost productivity for the nation as a whole


Percentage of U.S. workers sleep-deprived due to insomnia


Percentage of workers 65 and older with insomnia


Percentage of working men with insomnia


Percentage of working women with insomnia


Percentage of insomnia among workers with a high school education


Percentage of insomnia among workers who dropped out of high school


Percentage of insomnia among workers with a college degree


Percentage of insomniacs on medication or in behavioral therapy


Annual cost of sleep-aid medication


Annual cost of sleep behavior modification therapy

$40 billion

Amount Americans spend on coffee each year


Number of full-time employees surveyed for the study