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Do sleep disorders have an impact on the economy?

Jonathan Warren

06.02.2012

News

Jonathan Warren
99720395Nine per cent of the population of Australia - more specifically, more than 1.5 million adults living in the country - suffer from sleep disorders. New research has calculated that the overall cost of these conditions to the Australian economy is more $5 billion (£3.4 billion) a year in direct and indirect costs. A study conducted by Deloitte Access Economics calculated the collective effects of Australians who toss and turn in their single beds as a result of sleep problems, and the losses caused through productivity, absenteeism and poor work performance. Conditions like sleep apnoea, insomnia and restless leg syndrome were found to have a total direct health cost of around $800 million (£542 million) a year and indirect costs, including workplace accidents and productivity losses, a total of around $4.3 billion (£2.9 billion). In an interview with ABC News, director of the West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute Professor David Hillman said: "What these conditions have in common is that they disrupt sleep and cause daytime symptoms: tiredness, lethargy and really suboptimal brain function. "I've dealt with people who actually believe they can train themselves to sleep less - that's simply not possible. Sleep is a physiological need that has to be met and if you don't meet it you can very readily measure the effects on brain function."

About the author

Jonathan Warren

Jonathan Warren

Time4Sleep owner