Who needs sleep? Employees do! And they're never gonna get it, apparently. A new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry reveals that Americans are watching an awful lot of 3 a.m. infomercials, 20-minute CNN news loops, and Little House On the Prairie reruns. The researchers surveyed 10,094 working Americans and estimate one-fifth (20%) are raging insomniacs. But it gets better, because the researchers put a price tag on the average insomnia-induced workplace error: $20,000. Add it all up, and you get a cool $30 billion in workplace accidents and mistakes. Maybe a better pillow or a glass of warm milk would help?
The researchers encourage employers to start screening employees for insomnia, which I would think would be a rather easy visual study. Why are we going through so much coffee lately? Why is everyone so zoned out in meetings? Why do you look so tired, Dave? (Note: DO NOT, under any circumstances, tell the women in the office that they look tired. Just don't go there, okay?)
As for the rest of us, these are stressful times and there's a lot to worry about all the time. But we can slay the sleep monster by trying to get to bed a little bit earlier, sending our computers into "sleep" mode at least 30 minutes before bedtime, and deciding not to pay bills and read potentially stressful emails right before we hit the sack. Hey, if your computer gets to go to sleep, so should you.
If you're an employee with a newborn, however, the above does not apply. Almanzo and Pa Ingalls will be leaving for Mankato at 3:20 a.m., and you're always welcome to come along.