Are you among those who lie awake at night in their bed worrying about the amount of sleep that they are getting? If yes, then don’t worry; you are not alone. In fact, a majority of countries are undergoing a sleeplessness epidemic that poses a risk to people’s health and productivity. Sleep Cycle is an app that tracks the number of sleep-hours that people are getting.
According to Sleep Cycle, New Zealand tops the list of the most rested countries as an average Kiwi is able to get sleep of in excess of 7.5 hours every night. The Netherland, Australia, Finland, Belgium, and the UK are also ranked high in terms of sleep hour per night. Ireland is close behind the lot. However, not all developed countries are well rested; South Kore and Japan are two examples. Both countries are the worst in terms of sleep hours every night.
As per Rand Corporation, the US is losing the equivalent of about 1.2 million working days per year because people are not getting enough sleep. In Japan, about 600,000 working days are being lost annually whereas in the UK and Germany this number stands at about 200,000. All of these days have an impact on the country’s economic output. For instance, the US is losing about $411 billion on a yearly basis – the equivalent of 2.28% of its GDP. For Japan, the number is $138 billion per year (2.92% of its GDP). For Germany, $60 million – 1.56% of GDP – and for the UK it is $50 billion – 1.86% of GDP.
A small improvement in sleep, however, can have a much greater effect in terms of economic gains, and this should serve as a wake-up call. For instance, if everyone in the US who is sleeping for fewer than six hours per night was able to get a sleep of between six and seven hours; the US economy would get a boost of $226.4 billion. This is just by adding about an extra hour of sleep every night!
Such an improvement would also add approximately $75.7 billion to the Japanese economy. This is something that has been picked up by the owner of a wedding company that is based in Tokyo by the name of Crazy. The firm’s CEO, Kazuhiko Moriyama, said last year that employees who were getting at least six hours of sleep every night would be entitled to a bonus. He said, ‘You have to protect workers’ rights; otherwise, the country itself will weaken.’
The American National Sleep Foundation states that adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.