Study: Lost sleep last weekend cost U.S. $434 million
David Perry -- Furniture Today, March 11, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. — That hour of sleep that Americans gave up last weekend with the advent of Daylight Saving Time comes with a steep economic cost, according to a study commissioned by cushioning major Carpenter Co. The cost: $434 million.
Carpenter Co. and its consumer-oriented sleepbetter.org website team asked a group of economists to estimate the total burden of the lost hour of sleep due to the arrival of Daylight Saving Time on the U.S. economy. The result was the SleepBetter.org Lost-Hour Economic Index, which finds that moving the clock ahead one hour each spring inflicts nearly half a billion dollars in total losses on the U.S. economy, the company said.
Among the culprits: An increase in heart attacks, workplace injuries in the mining and construction sectors, and increased cyber-loafing that reduces productivity for people who typically work in offices, Carpenter said.
In addition to quantifying the national impact of DST, the index was broken down into more than 360 metropolitan statistical areas in order to localize its impact - from the top market, New York, to the smallest, Carson City, Nev.
Heading the index is Morgantown, W.Va., with a per capita lost hour loss of $3.37. A total of four West Virginia cities were in the top five index rank.
In order to share the individual market data, SleepBetter.org has launched an interactive landing page that allows visitors to view the cost of DST down to the city level. The site includes a searchable database, sleep tips to combat the effects of the lost hour of sleep, and an interactive heat map which plots the per-capita costs of DST across America's metropolitan areas.
"Every year most of the U.S. voluntarily foregoes an hour of sleep as we spring forward into Daylight Saving Time, and the surprising findings of the Lost-Hour Economic Index reinforce the key message of our multi-year campaign to educate Americans about the importance of sleeping better - lost sleep has a cost," said Dan Schecter, senior vice president of consumer products at Carpenter Co. and creator of SleepBetter.org.
"As various academic studies have shown, that missing hour of sleep has both physiological and psychological effects - effects that can lead to an increase in workplace injury, cyber-loafing and even heart attacks, and a relatively small investment sleep can pay huge dividends in health, productivity and well-being," he said.
Carpenter also announced the launch of a related contest on the SleepBetter Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/SleepBetter. The contest asks new and existing Facebook fans to share the effects of losing an hour of sleep in their lives for a chance to win a Carpenter Co. and SleepBetter ErgoSmart line of toppers and pillows.
SleepBetter is also broadcasting the results of the study to national, regional, and local media and to its nearly quarter million Facebook fans, tens of thousands of e-newsletter subscribers, and through its other social media outlets.
The metrics behind the index were developed by Chmura Economics & Analytics, a Richmond, Va.-based firm that provides economic consulting, quantitative research and software solutions to a range of private and public entities. Chmura drew data from three previously published academic studies: A 2008 study from The New England Journal of Medicine that examined the effects of daylight saving time on incidence of heart attacks; a 2009 study from The Journal of Applied Psychology, which measured the incidence of workplace injury in the mining and construction industries in the days following the change to daylight saving time; and a 2012 study also published in The Journal of Applied Psychology that examined the increases in cyber-loafing on the Monday after the switch to daylight saving time.
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