The Impact of Insomnia on the Workplace


July 5, 2023 3 MIN READ

Insomnia Workplace

The Impact of Insomnia on the Workplace

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder today, and its devastating effects on one’s health and quality of life are well documented. Lacking sufficient rest, we have problems focusing, being fully present, and we can suffer serious health consequences, to name only a few of insomnia’s devastating manifestations, not to mention in your workplace.

Knowing that insufficient restorative sleep can cause so many problems, it should be no surprise that employees afflicted with this condition deliver poor results on the job. Absenteeism, lower rates of production, and increases in healthcare costs all significantly impact the workplace.

Impact by the Numbers

Research shows that nearly 24% of the cumulative burden from errors and accidents on the job result from inadequate rest. Additionally, the total cost of these incidents is, on average, $10,148 higher than for similar incidents due to different circumstances resulting in approximately $32 billion in losses annually.

Similarly, businesses experience substantial performance loss leading to 11.3 days of lost job performance per employee suffering from insomnia for an annual cost of approximately $59.8 billion.

Health Impacts

Our brain requires adequate rest to function correctly and support our overall health. When employees don’t get enough sleep, they risk developing severe health conditions that negatively impact the workplace, their cohorts, and the general business.

These risks can include:

  • Increased Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Hypercholesterolemia

Conditions like these foster increases in absenteeism may increase healthcare costs to the business (and therefore the employee), and can often hinder the employee’s career.

The Impact on Your Career

It should be evident that employees who perform poorly or have attendance issues due to insomnia may not advance in their careers as expected.

Keeping your job when dealing with a sleep disorder like insomnia or sleep apnea can be challenging. You may have difficulty waking up in time for work and completing complex tasks once there. The effects of poor sleep on concentration, performance, and memory are well understood and can threaten your employment.

Explaining your health condition to your boss is the best answer. Ideally, your boss and employer will understand and accommodate your situation.

Certain disorders may meet the eligibility requirements of the Disabilities Act of 1990, meaning your employer would need to provide “reasonable accommodations.” Your employer must meet these requirements unless your condition prevents you from performing your job or endangers other employees.

The US Department of Labor’s Job Accommodation Network offers the following suggestions for accommodating sleep disorders.

  • Changing Shifts.
  • Flexible Work Schedules
  • More Frequent, Longer, or Shorter Breaks
  • Natural or Full-Spectrum Lighting
  • Both Verbal and Written Instructions

Offering your employer solutions before your sleep issues become a problem is essential. Your ability to negotiate or bring legal action, if it comes to that, will be significantly impaired if your employer cites you for poor attendance or performance before you make them aware and offer some solutions.

Your employer must look to their bottom line, so assure them that you put your job first and that accommodating your disorder will not affect productivity or job performance. The company has a substantial investment in your training and experience; adjusting your situation can save them significant money compared with replacing you.

Final Thoughts

The devastating effects of poor sleep on your health are numerous. Increased anxiety, depression, daytime sleepiness, poor concentration, irritability, memory problems, and much more can make your daily life a nightmare.

All of these issues go to work with you.

Alerting your employer about your sleep disorder is essential to protect your job and financial security. Poor performance and attendance are the inevitable outcome of inadequate sleep and are a significant financial burden on US businesses.

The issues accompanying a lack of sleep can threaten your health and livelihood.

Sleep Science Academy’s uniquely successful and empowering program and professional sleep coaches are practical tools to help you overcome those sleepless nights to protect your health and employment. Contact us today and schedule your complimentary sleep consultation to learn how Sleep Science Academy can make your nights more restful in your days more rewarding.

Also, you can read this article to learn more about Dynamic Sleep Recalibration (DSR) and how our process works.