It seems we are becoming a nation where burning the candle at both ends is the norm. Whether we are staying up late to study, catch up on our emails or to have fun, sleeping for less than 6 hours a night is not only causing us major health problems it is also costing the UK economy £40bn a year.
The UK loses 200,000 working days a year, due to employees not getting an adequate amount of sleep. Research from Rand Europe found from data of 62,000 individuals that increasing your sleep to just 7 hours a night could add £24bn to the UK economy a year.
Everyone has experienced the usual moods of feeling irritable, short tempered and grumpy following a sleepless night, but what effects does a lack of sleep really have on your body?
Sleep plays a huge role in our thinking and learning processes, without an adequate amount of sleep our cognitive processes are influenced, affecting our attention, concentration, reasoning, alertness and how we problem solve. So it goes without saying that a lack of shut eye can affect our productivity therefore slowing down our performance levels.
Getting more sleep can also lower the risk of becoming stressed. Getting less than 6 hours sleep a night can send you on your way to suffering from a burnout. Global Corporate Challenge’s Insights study found that you are 54% more likely to experience higher levels of stress when you sleep for less than 6 hours a night.
Not only can a lack of z’s cause problems to your work performance it can also have an affect on your health, increasing your risk of;
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
With a lack of sleep affecting us mentally, emotionally and physically, it’s no wonder the average employee is taking 8-9 days a year off due to sleep deprivation.
As an employer, the health of your employees is a huge factor in your company’s overall performance.
Focusing on employees sleeping habits and its impact on their health, work engagement and productivity could become a priority in workplace wellbeing programmes.
Employers must address how to tackle their employees sleep issues to best suit their individual needs and that of the workforce.
Employers can support employees on the importance of sleep and the dangers of the lack of it, and what can be done to improve the quantity and quality of their sleep. Including this is in workplace wellbeing programmes will help give employers an understanding of potential health issues that their staff may have. This is both beneficial to your employees and to your business in the long term.
Implementing a Private Medical Insurance policy or just a simple Employee Assistance Programme can help to support the employee when they need it the most.
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