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Tired Employees Are as Bad as Drunk Ones, Study Says

The report found that 74 percent of Americans aren't getting at least the recommended seven hours of sleep every night, and the companies are suffering for it.

by Helen Donahue
Apr 26 2016, 7:32pm

Photo via Flickr user Bill Smith

Read: What's It Like to Hallucinate from Sleep Deprivation?

A sleepless night could make you just as useless at work as showing up drunk, according to a new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The report found that 74 percent of Americans aren't getting the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep every night, and companies are suffering for it. Employees are making sleep-deprived mistakes, have lower productivity, increased health insurance costs, and are just grouchy as shit.

Sleep psychologist William David Brown told NPR that missing a night of sleep is equal to having a blood-alcohol level of about 0.1, which is over the legal limit for driving. "About a third of your employees in any big company are coming to work with an equivalent impairment level of being intoxicated," Brown told NPR.

According to an internal survey from an accountant staffing firm, employees admitted that when sleep-deprived they were prone to making major mistakes—like deleting an entire project that took over 1,000 hours to complete or overcharging a client $1 million.

Things are looking pretty bleak for the American workforce, since being hungover is already ruining the country and the lack of sleep won't help.