How much are sleep disorders costing your business?

Sleep disorders cost employers an average of $5,000 per affected employee, per year.

Geneviève Mallette | Desjardins Group

They're insidious and often overlooked. Changing the clocks as we move into autumn may stir them up again for a few days. But when they become a regular thing, you won't be counting sheep jumping over the fence; you'll be counting dollars slipping through your fingers.

Sleep disorders cost employers an average of $5,000 per affected employee, per year1. How is that possible? Because they chip away at your company's productivity - employees are tired and have trouble recuperating. Because your company's health costs related to lack of sleep (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, mental health issues, etc.) will increase, and so will absenteeism, workplace accidents and road accidents. But it's presenteeism that hits businesses hardest.

There, but not really "there" - sound familiar?
In other words, presenteeism. You've seen it before - when an employee is at work, but not able to get their work done properly or on time... or at all. 

Poor sleep affects their concentration, their memory, their reaction time, and it can cause errors in judgement. We're talking about a 20% to 50% reduction in cognitive capacity for people who suffer from sleep disorders.2 That's huge!

Nearly 28 days lost 
Presenteeism accounts for an estimated 28 days per year for a poor sleeper, compared to 3 days a year for a good sleeper.1 
  • That's a difference of 25 days - more than five weeks of work lost for each employee with insomnia! So you can see how it's costing businesses a lot of money. 
So, what can you do?
You have to go right to the source! Luckily, sleep orders can be treated - and you can start by taking these three steps:
  • Add sleep disorder prevention and intervention programs to your existing wellness programs.
  • If you notice an employee has less energy or seems lethargic, let them know you're there to help.
  • Refer them to your group benefits health and wellness programs so they can take the necessary steps to improve their sleep.
Knowing they have an understanding boss who's willing to help them may give them peace of mind - and maybe even a good night's sleep.

If you'd like to learn more about sleep, you'll find lots more information on our web page

You might also like to read:

1 M. Daley, C. M. Morin, M. Leblanc, J.-P. Grégoire and J. Savard, "The economic burden of insomnia: direct and Indirect costs for individuals with insomnia syndrome, insomnia symptoms, and good sleepers", Sleep, vol. 32, no 11, p. 55-64, 2009.
2 M. Rosekind, "The Importance of Sleep in Enhancing Safety," Sleep Works Summit, September 26-27, 2016, Washington D.C.

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