How Insomnia Disrupts the Workplace

Rahul Shivkumar's profile picture
Rahul Shivkumar
Sep 5, 20224 min read
Insomnia Statistics in the Workplace

How Insomnia Disrupts the Workplace

According to the Mental Health Foundation, insomnia affects around a third of the population. Yet many people are still unaware that their difficulties sleeping can have an impact on their daily lives, and even their careers.

Insomnia in the workplace

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects between 1 in 10 and 1 in 3 people. It's characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness. While insomnia can affect people of all ages, it tends to be more common among older individuals.

Insomnia may also be categorized as transient, short-term (acute), or chronic depending on how long it lasts:

  • Transient insomnia lasts less than three weeks; it's usually caused by an external stressor (such as staying up late for an event) and often resolves once the situation passes
  • Short-term (acute) insomnia persists for less than three months
  • Chronic insomnia is long lasting and occurs chronically over years

How insomnia affects the workplace, and how it is costing businesses money

Insomnia can lead to absenteeism, decreased productivity and quality of work, increased stress and anxiety, an increased risk of accidents, an increased risk of depression and other mental health problems.

Insomnia can negatively impact your work performance in a variety of ways:

  • You might be less productive than you could be. If you're lacking sleep at night due to insomnia or another sleep disorder like restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea, this can make it hard for you to focus on tasks during the day. In turn, this may cause a decrease in your overall productivity at work that impacts both your financial success and your job satisfaction as a whole.
  • Your work quality may suffer from lack of sleep too. If insomnia makes it hard for you to concentrate when performing tasks during the day (or if another type of sleep disorder causes distractions), then it's likely that those performances will suffer as well—and this could lead others on the team not only judging but also penalizing poor-quality work by one employee over another who has been suffering from poor rest conditions over time (although they might not know why).

Insomnia has a significant effect on the workplace.

Insomnia has a significant effect on the workplace. If you suffer from insomnia, you may find it hard to function properly during the day. You may have trouble getting out of bed, even though your alarm clock is going off. You may feel tired or fatigued during work hours, which can cause performance issues at work and potentially lead to mistakes. The lack of sleep can also affect your ability to focus on completing tasks as well as your energy level throughout the day.

The costs of untreated insomnia

  • Lost productivity. Insomnia costs employers billions of dollars in lost productivity each year, according to the National Sleep Foundation. A study from the University of Michigan found that workers with insomnia lost an average of one hour and 22 minutes per day due to fatigue or sleepiness.
  • Absenteeism. The same study also found that employees who have difficulty sleeping are more likely to call in sick than those who do not struggle with sleep issues (13 percent versus 7 percent).
  • Accidents. A lack of sleep can mean you're less alert while driving or performing other tasks where it's important to be on full alert at all times, leading to increased accidents at work and home if you don't get enough sleep each night. This problem is even more serious if you work in construction or transportation industries where your job requires heavy machinery or vehicles; as a result, you may end up injuring yourself—or worse—in an accident caused by a lack of proper restorative rest!
  • Medical care costs for both employers and employees who don't get enough sleep throughout their life span are estimated at about $44 billion annually according to recent research from Harvard University School Of Public Health researchers published in The Lancet medical journal last year."

Insomnia treatment options

As with any chronic condition, the first step in improving your sleep is to visit a doctor or clinician. Dawn's sleep clinic is accessible virtually from your phone or computer anywhere in the United States. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be recommended. CBT teaches you how to break down negative thoughts and change habits that lead to sleeplessness.

A variety of medications are also available for treating insomnia, but it's important to consult with your doctor before taking any medication.


The bottom line is that insomnia is a serious issue, and it’s one that can have a significant impact on the workplace. It’s important that employers understand the risks of untreated insomnia so they can ensure their employees are getting proper treatment.

Rahul Shivkumar's profile picture
Rahul Shivkumar

Software Engineer & Sleep Enthusiast

It’s time to stop blaming the night monsters.

Let’s work together to transform your sleep for the better.