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How Chronic Lack of Sleep Affects Economy, Productivity and Health

Story at-a-glance -

  • Research shows adults need anywhere from seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night to maintain good health, yet recent research suggests at least one-third of American adults aren’t getting enough
  • Most people skimp on sleep because they view it as a means to increase productivity. However, the evidence clearly shows the opposite occurs
  • Sleep deprivation is costing the U.S. economy $411 billion each year in accidents and lost productivity — an amount equivalent to 2.28 percent of the gross domestic product
  • Healthy sleep consists of five stages, and you cycle through them four to five times during a healthy sleep cycle. All of these stages are important, and it’s important to cycle through them enough times each night
  • Some of the most harrowing accidents and monumental mistakes have occurred as a result of sleep deprivation, including the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident and the 1986 space shuttle Challenger explosion

By Dr. Mercola

In the short CNN Money segment above, Christine Romans talks to Arianna Huffington about the importance of sleep for health and productivity. Huffington, chairman, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, is well-acquainted with the ramifications of sleep deprivation.

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