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Productivity in the workplace is determined by a myriad of factors, from the level of training or experience in specific duties or tasks to the proper attitude and morale. One of the most insidious detriments to productivity is sleep deprivation, which has been described as the most significant public health problem in the United States today.
In a report commissioned by the U.S. government, it was determined that the annual loss to the economy as the result of sleep disorders is somewhere between $45 billion and $63 billion.
We are a sleep-deprived nation.
The investigation of the Challenger explosion revealed that sleep deprivation played a major role in the events and decisions that led to the devastating space tragedy. In the case of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the third mate, who was dead asleep directly below the blaring warning siren as the result of severe sleep deprivation, could have averted the disastrous event. Annually, 4,800 big-rig truck accidents occur involving sleep-deprived drivers, often resulting in fatalities.
So why are we so sleep-deprived? Beyond our culture's ingrained pressures to produce, sleep researchers at Stanford University indicate that 75 to 80 percent of the …