The impact of sleep deprivation
According to a study by RAND Europe, sleep deprivation amongst employees is costing the UK’s economy up to £40 billion a year. The researchers found that lack of sleep leads to a higher mortality risk and lower levels of productivity throughout the workforce.
The study titled ‘Why Sleep Matters – The Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep’, revealed that the UK loses over 200,000 working days each year due to sleep deprivation. This occurs through absenteeism levels, presenteeism issues and a lack of motivation.
Marco Hafner, a research leader at RAND Europe and the report’s main author, commented: “Our study shows that the effects from a lack of sleep are massive. 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.”
“Improving individual sleep habits and duration has huge implications, with our research showing that simple changes can make a big difference. For example, if those who sleep under six hours a night increase their sleep to between six and seven hours a night, this could add £24 billion to the UK economy.”
Sleep deprivation amongst employees is costing the UK’s economy up to £40 billion a year
Around the world
RAND Europe’s research found that:
- The U.S has the biggest financial losses (up to $411 billion) and most working days lost (1.2 million)
- Japan is second (up to $138 billion, with around 600,000 working days being lost overall)
- Germany is third (up to $60 billion, with just over 200,000 working days being lost).
Canada appeared to be the nation with the best sleep outcomes, but still has significant financial and productivity losses ($21.4 billion, with around 80,000 working days being lost overall).
Sleep deprivation has the potential to significantly impact productivity and it appears that’s why companies such as Google, PwC and Uber have dedicated napping rooms – or as we like to call them – napping pods.
So what needs to be done to get the most of your nap? The National Sleep Foundation suggests:
- For short-term alertness, a 20-30 minute nap is recommended to help without leaving that groggy feeling.
- Make sure the place to sleep has a good room temperature and limits noise and light coming in.
- Don’t nap too late in the day or it will start to impact your nighttime sleep.
It seems to us that this almost proves a need for napping pods in offices. As if you needed any more convincing to get that extra 20 minutes of shut eye, we certainly don’t!
This blog was original posted by Sonia Rach, blogger and employee happiness evangelist at Perkbox.