Lack of sleep costing UK economy up to £40 billion a year

Sleep deprived workers are costing the UK economy nearly £40 billion a year, a report has revealed.

Researchers from Rand Europe say the calculation is based on tired employees being less productive or absent from work altogether.

They said the loss equated to 1.86 per cent of economic growth.

Sleep deprivation also affects the health of workers, says Rand Europe. Those sleeping less than six hours a night are 13 per cent more likely to die than those sleeping between seven and nine hours.

The report calls on employers to recognise and promote the importance of sleep, even going as far as suggesting nap rooms for employees.

It also said that they should discourage staff from “extended use” of electronic devices after working hours.

Furthermore, the report highlights the importance of good sleep etiquette, advising individuals to wake up at the same time each day and exercise during the day to improve their sleep.

Marco Hafner, a research leader at Rand Europe and the report’s main author, said: “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.”

Mr Hafner said small changes could make a big difference, saying if employees in the UK currently snoozing less than six hours a night increased this to between six and seven hours, it would add £24 billion to the UK’s economy.