Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sleep problems cost billions

Date:
November 1, 2012
Source:
The University of Bergen
Summary:
Insomnia and sleep apnea are turning us into major health service consumers, causing us to be less productive at work, and may even lead to serious accidents, according to researchers.

Sleep disorders lead to 253 million days of sick leave a year in the United States alone.
Credit: © Dan Race / Fotolia

Insomnia and sleep apnea are turning us into major health service consumers, causing us to be less productive at work, and may even lead to serious accidents.

Related Articles


If you can't sleep at night, you're not alone. Around ten per cent of the population suffer from insomnia, where you have trouble falling asleep, wake up frequently at night, and still feel tired when the morning comes.

"When you feel tired and indisposed, your performance at work suffers," says Børge Sivertsen, professor at UiB's Department of Clinical Psychology and senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Sleep apnea is a more severe problem, affecting four to five per cent of the population. Sufferers can stop breathing for up to 40 seconds several times during the night, putting a huge strain on the heart. As a result, they have many micro-awakenings that stop them from reaching deep sleep.

Bad night, bad day

According to the sleep scientist, a recently-published study from the United States puts the annual losses from insomnia alone at 63.2 billion US dollars annually. Only a third of this was due to actual absence from work; two thirds was due to a loss in productivity while at work.

"An Australian study found that about two per cent of Australia's GDP is lost due to sick leave caused by insomnia and sleep apnea disorder. This shows how common these diseases are and how much they affect work," Sivertsen says.

Danger on the roads

In their own ways, each sleep disorder also has a strong impact on accident statistics. For example, lorry drivers have sedentary jobs, and this increases the risk of developing obesity and sleep apnea.

"The disease is a major cause of the many traffic accidents on American roads," Sivertsen says.

As for insomnia, drug use can cause problems. Sivertsen's studies show that sedatives can cause users to feel less rested during the daytime.

"Sleep medication may work in the short term, but after six weeks of use we noticed a decrease in deep sleep. Sleep may be uninterrupted, but you may not necessarily get quality sleep," he says.

Testing every treatment there is

Sleep disorder sufferers are often major health care users, which leads to an increase in social costs.

"When you feel bad, you will try every treatment there is. There is an overconsumption of alternative methods amongst insomnia sufferers. They often consume too much alcohol and visit their GPs, psychologists, physiotherapists, and chiropractors more often."

Sivertsen wants insomnia treatment to become more accessible, and to include cognitive behavioural therapy.

"Several recent studies show that the Internet can be used to offer good and cost-effective methods of treatment. This is particularly true in areas where sleep centres are few and far between," he suggests.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The University of Bergen. The original article was written by Walter Wehus; translated from the Norwegian by Sverre Ole Drønen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The University of Bergen. "Sleep problems cost billions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121101110514.htm>.
The University of Bergen. (2012, November 1). Sleep problems cost billions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121101110514.htm
The University of Bergen. "Sleep problems cost billions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121101110514.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins