You know those moments when you’re at work and it feels like your eyelids have 10 pound weights on them, and it’s practically impossible to stay awake? And all you want to do is go home, but your boss won’t accept being tired as a reason to leave?

Well, turns out it might actually be a legitimate excuse.

According to an international study done by RAND Europe, a non-profit organization that aims to “improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis,” working populations in five countries are costing their country’s economy billions of dollars from lack of sleep.

The report examines Canada, the U.S, the U.K., Germany and Japan, studying the impact that insufficient sleep has on the countries’ economies.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults (18+) get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but the report found working adults were getting much less. The following table shows the percentage of surveyed individuals in each country who get less than the recommended hours of sleep per night:


Since insufficient sleep results in low productivity and higher mortality rates, the report says insufficient sleep is having a negative effect on the economy in all five countries.

Basically, employees are doing subpar work and sometimes even dying early because they’re not getting enough sleep. The subpar work and deaths then result in a negative effect on the companies for which the sleep-deprived employees work (or worked), which then affects their country’s overall economy. 

The good news? Canada is losing the least amount of money out of the five countries.

The bad news? We’re still losing billions of dollars.

How much each country’s economy is losing from sleep deprived employees per year:

So, if you’re ever battling your eyelids again at work, just drop this report on your boss’ desk and head on home for some sweet, sweet dreams… Your country depends on it.