sleep

Not only has poor sleep been linked with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, but also decreased productivity and concentration in the workplace, find a new report released to coincide with World Sleep Day.

Information from the World Sleep Survey by Big Health, creators of the app Sleepio, reveal that the average UK employee loses 8.5 days of work a year due to poor sleep. Sickness absence and working-age ill-health, including poor sleep, currently costs the UK economy £100 billion a year, while sleeping pills alone cost the NHS nearly £50 million a year. Poor sleepers” (those who rated their sleep quality as below average) missed 14.6 days of work per year. Alarmingly, 60

It turns out that poor sleepers (those who rated their sleep quality as below average) missed 14.6 days of work per year. Alarmingly, 60 per cent of these poor sleepers don’t seek to fix the problem and did not consult their doctors about their bad sleep.

The 2,500 British participants in the World Sleep Survey stated that:

  • The top three personal impacts of poor sleep were: (i) a decline in energy levels (60 per cent), (ii) mood (48 per cent) and (iii) relationships with others (35 per cent);
  • The top three repercussions affecting their work were: (i) concentration levels (46 per cent), (ii) ability to complete work (38 per cent) and (iii) ability to stay awake during the day (27 per cent).
Professor Colin Espie, co-founder of Big Health and professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford said: “Sleep is not an optional extra in life; it is a fundamental requirement. World Sleep Day is the perfect time to acknowledge the widespread effect poor sleep has on our lives. The consequences of a bad night’s rest affect us not only physically but also mentally and emotionally, seriously impacting our performance at work. Physically we will feel lethargic, mentally we become slowed down with poorer concentration and memory, and emotionally we may become irritable and rather down, with bursts of hyperactivity. In terms of daily life, no aspect of daily functioning is unaffected by sleep - least of all our jobs.”

Co-founder of Big Health and professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford and CEO and NHS Innovation Fellow Peter Hames said: “Poor sleep is the unspoken productivity killer in the workplace and it has been ignored for too long. Now is the time for employers to wake up to the problem of sleep - improving employee’s sleep positively impacts workplace effectiveness and general wellbeing. Big Health is working with some of the world’s leading companies to help them improve the sleep of their workforces with Sleepio, and seeing huge improvements in productivity and overall health as a result.”