Employees Not Catching Enough Z’s Costing U.S. Companies Billions

Feeling sluggish? Has your FIFTH cup of coffee worn off already? Are you starting to resemble an extra in a zombie movie? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’d better get more rest, because you might be costing your company money due to lack of productivity.

The Wall Street Journal’s story on workforce sleep deprivation may keep you awake at night (pun intended).

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 40.6 million American workers, or 30% of the civilian workforce, don’t get enough rest. And the Harvard scientists estimated in 2011 that sleep deprivation costs U.S. companies $63.2 billion in lost productivity per year, mainly because of “presenteeism,” people showing up for work but operating at subpar levels. One example, from a separate team at Singapore Management University: Workers waste an extra 8.4 minutes online—checking email, refreshing the TMZ.com home page, and so on—for every hour of interrupted sleep the previous night.”

Employers are beginning to realize that lack of rest not only affects productivity, but also customer service. Workers tend to project their “grumpiness” and frustration onto the company’s clients.

“If we treated machinery like we treat the human body, there would be breakdowns all the time,” said James Maas, a former Cornell University psychologist and author of “Sleep for Success.”

Corporations like Proctor & Gamble and Litebook Company Ltd. are trying to help the sleep-deprived workforce.

P&G is in the planning stages of instituting a program in “rest education.” Litebook offers products that help regulate the body’s melatonin levels. Currently, the NHL uses this technology to help athletes cope with jet lag and fatigue.

So what is your company doing to help you get more rest?