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Poor sleep costs Americans more than $5 billion every year

Staff writer |
American adults spend more than $5 billion annually trying to compensate for poor sleep, according to new research from the Better Sleep Council (BSC).

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Americans spend roughly the same to stay awake as the candidates will spend in this year's presidential campaign.
Eighty-two percent of American adults report at least one night a week where they don't get a good night's sleep, while more than six out of 10 say they're not sleeping well three or more nights per week.

More than half of Americans say they drink at least one – at minimum – extra cup of coffee, soda or energy drink to compensate for lost sleep.

Considering that half of the population (or more than 123 million people) buy coffee, soft drinks or energy drinks, and by using the average price of those items, we can estimate over a year the tally tops $5 billion.

To put that in perspective, despite record spending on the 2016 presidential campaign, Americans spend roughly the same on coffee and other drinks to help us stay awake as the anticipated $5 billion the candidates will spend in this year's presidential campaign.

The problem of lost sleep is particularly acute when daylight saving time goes into effect. While poor sleep's negative impact on productivity and safety is well known, the potential economic cost has not received as much attention.

The BSC found six out of 10 Americans need at least one day or more to recover from losing an hour of sleep when we shift to daylight saving time, while about half of those need at least three days.

Factor in the compensatory drink purchases by the reported number of recovery days, and the economic cost related to daylight saving time alone nears $300 million.

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