Insomnia isn’t just a bad deal for those who suffer through it.

It’s also a bad deal for the nation’s economy.

A study of 7,428 workers by Harvard Medical School found that 23.8 percent suffered from insomnia, and that the average American worker lost 11.3 days — or $2,000 worth of productivity — because of the sleeping disorder. That adds up to $62 billion in lost productivity for the nation as a whole.

It’s unclear over how long a time period respondents suffered from an inability to sleep.

“It’s an underappreciated problem.” Ronald C. Kessler, a psychiatric epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and the lead author of the study, noted. “Americans are not missing work because of insomnia. They are still going to their jobs but accomplishing less because they’re tired. In an information-based economy, it’s difficult to find a condition that has a greater effect on productivity.”


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