Seeking Alpha

Get some sleep, boost the economy

  • "Many of us need more sleep," write Harvard economist Sendhill Mullainathan in the NYT.
  • "The economic consequences of inadequate sleep are surely huge," Mullainathan adds.
  • In one month in 2008, a poll showed that 29 percent of workers had fallen asleep or had been very sleepy at work," he notes. The effects can add up: one study in Australia calculated the cost of sleeplessness at 0.8% of the country's gross domestic product.
Comments (23)
    , contributor
    Comments (158) | Send Message
    Here is the number 1 problem:
    In the US of A money is God. And Gekko said in this regard: " WAKEY WAKEY, MONEY NEVER SLEEPS". Is this attitude going to change? Not in a million years!
    2 Feb, 08:34 AM Reply Like
  • tomlos
    , contributor
    Comments (1147) | Send Message
    You ever wondered why the USA has grown more in our existence than any other country? I can tell you it's not because we take extended daytime naps like over in Spain.
    2 Feb, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • Rationalexuberance
    , contributor
    Comments (89) | Send Message
    No, it's because people are trained here to "live to work", not "work to live". Also may have something to do with the dollar being the reserve currency of the world. But maybe you're right, sleep depravation is more important factor than that.
    2 Feb, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • James Hanshaw
    , contributor
    Comments (1768) | Send Message
    The madness of management demanding more and more hours gets them less and less output per hour often with more defects. There is nothing new about that - it has been know for decades yet the US drive for more has been copied everywhere. Too bad about the kids that cannot get jobs because others are working double shifts under threat, imagined or otherwise, of losing theirs…….


    Spain stopped taking daytime naps years ago, tomlos, and has been in decline for years - maybe there is a connection.
    2 Feb, 08:53 AM Reply Like
  • TAS
    , contributor
    Comments (2284) | Send Message
    My Section 8 tenants sleep pretty much all day. I don't see them being at the cusp of high productivity.
    2 Feb, 11:49 AM Reply Like
  • Bouchart
    , contributor
    Comments (780) | Send Message
    Hey now, those food stamp cards don't collect themselves, you know.
    2 Feb, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8242) | Send Message
    Wow, what a great discovery, people who don't get enough sleep are tired and less productive. Wake up liberals and pass a new law mandating that employers give workers paid sleep breaks and that everyone be required to sleep 12 hours a night or face government fines.


    The Harvard economist probably got a 10 million dollar federal grant to do his "study".
    2 Feb, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3333) | Send Message
    Not Funny.


    Connecticut already has mandatory "Paid sick time"


    Not long before we see more.


    I'm sure all the companies around the globe can't wait to set up shop in CT.
    2 Feb, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • WisPokerGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (888) | Send Message
    Here's the thing...


    About 20 years ago employers started to switch "sick days" into "floating vacation days" because they were tired of employees that called in sick when they had to take a day off for something. So, what happened? Because the old "sick days" didn't exist anymore, people didn't want to burn their vacations days on being sick because they considered that a waste. Therefore, people who really were sick and should have stayed home end up dragging themselves into work to save their vacation time. The result is one employee who should be home in bed trying to get over the flu or whatever ends up infecting their co-workers and then everyone ends up getting sick. This is especially true in small offices. I see this happen EVERY year. The result is that instead of an employer losing 1 or 2 days of one employee staying home sick, they lose 6-12 days of 4 or 5 employees working at half-speed and re-infecting others over and over.


    This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen and goes on in offices throughout the country. Why? Because some "management goof" (of which I'm one) can look at a spreadsheet and say, "hey... we cut the sick days down this year". Freaking brilliant!


    The simple truth is that we work too hard in this country. We don't enjoy our time off and we are all afraid of losing our jobs. This is the work environment that has developed in the last 30+ years. I'm about 5 years from retirement, and when I actually do retire, I'm going flip the bird at corporate America on my way out the door and have no regrets about having to deal with the complete silliness of the broken corporate system.
    2 Feb, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • IgnisFatuus
    , contributor
    Comments (2131) | Send Message
    What I thought was funny was the study was conducted in 2008 and they are just now getting around to discussing the results...must have overslept on that one.
    2 Feb, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • IgnisFatuus
    , contributor
    Comments (2131) | Send Message
    WisPokerGuy <...when I actually do retire, I'm going flip the bird at corporate America on my way out the door and have no regrets about having to deal with the complete silliness of the broken corporate system. >


    I did that not quite 3 years ago and I'll tell you now, It was the best...move...ever.
    2 Feb, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3333) | Send Message
    Tonight being Super Bowl Sunday, makes one think how many "Sick" days will be taken tomorrow, and why the employers should be the one to have to pay for it.
    2 Feb, 05:54 PM Reply Like
  • WisPokerGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (888) | Send Message
    How many employers even give sick days anymore? That's the point. Which you missed.
    2 Feb, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (5758) | Send Message
    More sick days will be taken in Seattle than in Denver...just saying.
    2 Feb, 09:44 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3816) | Send Message
    I dunno, DCV... After a shellacking like this, many Denver fans might be drinking the pain away.
    2 Feb, 09:47 PM Reply Like
  • the_value_vulture
    , contributor
    Comments (206) | Send Message
    Great post.
    2 Feb, 10:20 PM Reply Like
  • SoldHigh
    , contributor
    Comments (1013) | Send Message
    It's a tragedy that the majority of the country was asleep when they voted in the 2012 presidential election.
    2 Feb, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • heywally
    , contributor
    Comments (191) | Send Message
    Yes, and it was hard to choose from all of the excellent candidates .....
    2 Feb, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • WisPokerGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (888) | Send Message
    Only the Republicans were asleep. The Democrats had enough people awake to win.
    2 Feb, 04:02 PM Reply Like
  • Ordos
    , contributor
    Comments (42) | Send Message
    Yawn. What a fluff piece.
    2 Feb, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1586) | Send Message
    Perchance to dream.
    2 Feb, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
    These polarized political comments (from both sides of the aisle) are, unfortunately, par for the course on SA. Here's a radical idea -- read an article before commenting on it.


    The article (and hence the underlying study) has *nothing* to do with mid-day naps or working late into the night. It is commenting on the growing bad habit of wasting late evening hours on cyberloafing, as the main cause of sleep deficit.


    Judging by the comments on SA... yep, rings true.
    2 Feb, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • DLB29720
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    Everyone commenting here seems to be pretty much awake to me. They're working.
    2 Feb, 08:06 PM Reply Like
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