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Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Is Not Only Difficult, It’s Costly As Well

How Bad Sleep Keeps You Down

A study released last summer by Marketdata estimated that 58% of Americans deal with some kind of sleep disorder. The independent researcher typically examined “off the shelf” products, with this case looking at what they dubbed the “sleep market” for things like bedding, CPAP machines, sleep-aid drugs, and sleep labs.

Sleep disorders involve any condition which affects restful sleep, leading to daytime drowsiness and a host of other symptoms. This impacts performance at work and personal relationships while heightening the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain. Sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are some of the more common disorders.

The Burgeoning Market

Marketdata’s report found the global sleep aids market came in at around $64 billion in 2021. They forecast it will grow into a nearly $112 industry by 2030, with a 7% compound annual growth rate until that time.

The broader sleep aids business includes everything from mattresses, pillows, earplugs, eye masks, and books on sleep, to products like anti-insomnia drugs and supplements. Sleep labs are also part of the industry, and they actually took a step back during the pandemic. Many labs were forced to use telemedicine or at-home studies, although CPAP machines for sleep apnea and bedding sales were strong over the past couple years.

High-Tech Solution

The numbers behind bad sleep in America have presented Big Tech with a problem to solve. Economists explain that there’s plenty at stake beyond just the potential for new products, however. Between loss of production at work and absence due to illness, fatigue has been estimated to cost the American economy upwards of $400 billion annually.

Wearable tech and other gadgets that monitor sleep patterns are offered by companies like Google (GOOGL), Samsung, and Huawei. Apple (AAPL) previously invested in a company called Beddit that develops bed sensors, but the focus seems to have shifted to Apple Watch’s sleep monitoring capability. Tossing and turning at night makes life difficult on a number of different fronts, and while that might mean counting sheep — the sleep aid industry is counting dollars.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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