By Daniel Hunter

Falling asleep at your desk or pulling a sickie due to tiredness costs the UK economy £453 million a year in lost productivity, according to bed manufacturer Sealy UK.

An alarming 21% of the 1,000 workers surveyed have recently called in sick or turned up late due to a lack of sleep, with men 6% more likely than women to do this. The cities where this is most prevalent in the UK emerged as Belfast (32%), Newcastle (30%), Birmingham (27%) and Leeds (25%). It appears that this could be costing our economy serious money, equating to a staggering £453m, based on average earnings and the average working day.

Worryingly, 10% of people also admit to regularly falling asleep in a meeting or at their desk as a result of feeling exhausted at work.

However, a more organised 12% (or perhaps those with a more understanding boss) take a power nap at work, while 6% say they do this “most days”. The profession by far most partial to the power nap is IT (29%).

Neil Robinson, Sealy’s sleep expert, said: “The research demonstrates what serious consequences a lack of sleep can have, not only on our day-to-day performance, but in terms of lost productivity in the workplace."