For while now, economists have been puzzling over why the global economy has been acting so sluggish.
Maybe it's because you are.
Lack of sleep is becoming endemic in the modern world. It's now so widespread the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently called it a "public health problem."
Researchers on one 2009 study found that 38 percent of respondents reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month, and 4.7 percent reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving during the same period.
It's not hard to see why. Increased reliance on shift work, longer commute times and the 27/7 demands of a wired world have conspired to chip away at the hours devoted to sleep.
One study that relied on personal time diaries found that the number of "short sleepers" — those who got fewer than six hours of sleep a night — rose 22 percent from 1975 to 2006. Not surprisingly, the odds of getting shortchanged on sleep rose the more hours study participants reported they worked.
Researchers at RAND Europe, an affiliate of the U.S.-based RAND Corporation, decided to try to quantity how much all this drowsiness was costing.
"The effects from a lack of sleep are massive," said. Marco Hafner, the report's main author. "Sleep deprivation not only influences an individual's health and wellbeing but has a significant impact on a nation's economy, with lower productivity levels and a higher mortality risk among workers."
Add it all up, and the RAND study estimates that the lack of sleep among the working population is costing the U.S. economy up to $411 billion a year, or about 2.28 percent of gross domestic product.
And that's just in the U.S. In Japan, yawning workers cost that economy $138 billion, or 2.92 percent of GDP. Germany loses up to $60 billion a year, or 1.56 percent of GDP, to employees nodding off. In the U.K., lethargic workers cost that economy up to $50 billion, or 1.86 percent of GDP.