The Intern Chronicles: Sleep Deprivation has its Costs ($150 Billion for U.S. Businesses)

I’m tired.

A good weekend in Chicago (where I got about as much sleep as can be expected from a young man enjoying a good weekend in Chicago) came to an end Sunday night as my car crawled into the driveway at around 2 a.m. I figured it was fine, because a few solid nights of sleep throughout the week would catch me up.

Let’s just say there’s a reason my roommate and I decided against cable during the school year. So, a few more nights of bad television/sleep deprivation brings me to today, where I am cursing bad decisions and longing for my blankie. I mean …

Anyway, as luck would have it, one of the projects I was assigned to this week involves running lines of information through the Chamber’s database. It’s just a few simple clicks for each line, but there are lots of them — LOTS of them. It’s not awful but it’s the type of repetitive work you’d hate to do without a full night’s rest.

Taking a break from the monotony to research what was on my mind, I came across a web site for the Better Sleep Council, which said that half of American employees just don’t get enough sleep. According to the site, the problem has led to some substantial on-the-job consequences, including the following:

• 31 % of survey respondents said that sleep deprivation impaired their quality and accuracy of work.
• Sleep deprivation currently costs U.S. businesses nearly $150 billion annually in absenteeism and lost productivity.
• The National Transportation Safety Board identified fatigue as a prominent factor in the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill.

While I don’t foresee my weariness causing any catastrophic environmental disasters, I do want to steer clear of workplace fatigue. From my extensive research, it looks like this can be achieved by — you guessed it — getting more sleep.  I plan on turning things around by starting to hit the sack early, and I plan on starting tonight.

Just right after I check out what’s happening on Letterman.

0 thoughts on “The Intern Chronicles: Sleep Deprivation has its Costs ($150 Billion for U.S. Businesses)

  1. What an enjoyable read this is, Paul! I can very much sympathize with you. It seems the busier we get, the more stressed we get, and the more sleep we lose. For me, this leads to feelings of frustration: I’m more prone to get frustrated with my kids, job, and even life in general. It’s a vicious cycle!

    It seems as a society, we really need stress management programs in the workplace. I think most stress-related problems are the result of one’s inability to cope with stressors. Does anyone have any tips on where I might find information on including stress management tips in my corporate wellness program?

    Thanks for the great blog — keep up the good work!

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