Famous intellects and innovators including the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Nicola Tesla are known not only for their contributions to the world but for doing so on very few hours of sleep per night. We may like to think we could all achieve similar success if we slept less and worked more yet the reality of the human mind and body suggests that insufficient sleep has adverse and far-reaching consequences on our health and well-being and, ultimately, the global economy. The findings of a recent study by RAND Corporation covering 62,000 individuals across five OECD countries show that insufficient sleep has far reaching economic consequences.
It is worth noting that a correlation exists between people's states of mind, as measured by the widely-known Happiness Index, and the estimated losses in labor productivity examined by RAND. The simple correlation chart below shows that people are happier when they are more productive except in the US. Americans appear to be happier than people in the UK despite having a larger productivity loss due to insufficient sleep.
Methodology Note: RAND scenarios
Scenario 1 - proportion of very short sleepers (sleep less than 6 hours) and short sleepers (6 to 7 hours) improve sleep duration to the recommended hours (7 to 9 hours).
Scenario 2 - proportion of very short sleepers (sleep less than 6 hours) improves sleep duration to sleep between 6 to 7 hours.
Scenario 3 - proportion of short sleepers (6 to 7 hours) improves sleep duration to sleep the recommended number of hours (7 to 9 hours).