America *is* asleep on the job


The American worker has a vicious cycle going: Stay late at the office, bring work home, sleep less at night, fall asleep at work, stay late at the office ... you get the picture. It's a cycle experts say is costing U.S. employers tens of billions of dollars a year in lost productivity.

The National Sleep Foundation is trying to break the cycle and get us back in the practice of separating our working and home lives. In conjunction with National Sleep Awareness Week, the foundation released a survey chronicling the effects of a sleepy workforce over time.

Studies show that habitually getting inadequate sleep -- less than seven or eight hours of sleep each night -- creates long-lasting changes to one's ability to think and function well during the day," said Thomas J. Balkin, PhD, co-chair of the poll task force and foundation vice chair. "These negative effects can accrue slowly over weeks, months and even years of inadequate sleep habits and cannot simply be reversed by a few nights of good sleep."