The economic cost of inadequate sleep

22 Aug The economic cost of inadequate sleep

Did you know that inadequate sleep is expensive??

A study was recently published in the Journal SLEEP investigating the economic cost of inadequate sleep in Australia for the 2016-2017 financial year:

The authors highlighted that ‘inadequate sleep is a substantial public health problem regularly affecting more than one in three adults. Although partly related to clinical sleep disorders and other health complaints, much appears to be due to work or lifestyle-related sleep restriction. Health, well-being, productivity, and safety suffer. Besides their human cost, these consequences have an economic cost which the present study demonstrates is very substantial. The importance of such an analysis is that political and administrative decisions are largely based on economic data. As there is strong competition for health and preventive health funds, sleep health advocates must establish how inadequate sleep ranks alongside other health and social problems in terms of societal and financial cost and associated communal illness and injury burden.’1

They concluded that the financial and nonfinancial costs associated with inadequate sleep are substantial. The estimated total financial cost of $17.88 billion represents 1.55 per cent of Australian gross domestic product. The estimated nonfinancial cost of $27.33 billion represents 4.6 per cent of the total Australian burden of disease for the year. These costs warrant substantial investment in preventive health measures to address the issue through education and regulation.



  1. David Hillman, Scott Mitchell, Jared Streatfeild, Chloe Burns, Dorothy Bruck, Lynne Pezzullo; The economic cost of inadequate sleep, Sleep, Volume 41, Issue 8, 1 August 2018, zsy083,