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June 01, 2007
Employees Have Trouble Sleeping? Help Them, Save Money

According to a study published in the March 1, 2007 issue of the journal SLEEP, treating insomnia patients is one way employers can save money on their healthcare costs. The study was conducted jointly by Ronald J. Ozminkowski, Ph.D., director of health and productivity research at Thomson Medstat, and James K. Walsh, Ph.D., director of the Sleep Medicine Research Center.

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With about 10% of adults in the United States suffering from chronic insomnia, the cost of failing to treat it is huge, say the researchers. For just the 6 months before insomnia treatment begins, sufferers claimed $924 to $1,143 more in medical costs than did their well-rested peers.

In contrast, even the most expensive medication for treating insomnia costs less than $200 per year, the authors say. "Our study suggests that it costs far less to treat insomnia than to ignore it," said Ozminkowski, the study's lead author.

"Untreated insomnia affects individuals' health, quality of life, and job performance--and increases their use of healthcare services substantially," he concludes.

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