New study shows lack of sleep could be deadly

  • 01/12/2016

It comes as no surprise that a lack of sleep can make you less productive but according to a new study out of the US, it also increases the risk of premature death.

Kristin Lemkau is a marketing executive at JP Morgan Chase who averages about six-and-a-half hours of sleep a night. 

But now her company is promoting healthier lifestyles - encouraging her to try to sleep eight hours.

"There's gotta be some time where the brain slows down and you can get more sleep. The biggest mistakes I've made in my life recently have been when I'm tired," Ms Lemkau says.

The new report by Rand Europe finds like Ms Lemkau, 45 percent of American workers get less than seven hours of sleep a night.

And that is costly to their employers. 

Dr. Charles Czeisler directs the sleep health institute at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"People are exhausted they don't have the energy sometimes they can't even get to work. That's why there are six lost work days per year, additional lost work days in individuals who sleep less than six hours a night," he says.

And lack of sleep makes workers less productive.

"If the people who slept less than six hours a night simply upped the game a little bit and slept six-to-seven hours a night, that would save US$200 billion dollars a year in lost productivity," Mr Czeisler says.

Lack of sleep causes accidents, and is linked to problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.

Risk of premature death increases 13 percent for people who average less than six hours a night compared to those getting seven-to-nine.