Putting A Price On Sleep Deprivation In The UK


We’ve all battled through the odd day at work after a poor night’s sleep, however, new research has revealed that it may have become a bigger problem than we realise.

It is thought that sleep-deprived workers are currently costing the UK economy £40bn per year. It is also thought that these poorly rested workers face a higher risk of death.

The research was carried out by Rand Europe who used data from 62,000 people and concluded that the loss equated to 1.86% of economic growth.

They compiled the results based on tired employees being less productive or who were even absent from work. The study focused on people from five important economies from around the world, the UK, US, Canada, Germany and Japan.

The other startling figures from this research were the impact on workers health as a result of sleep-deprivation.

The figures showed that people sleeping less than six hours every night were 13% more likely to die earlier than those who get the recommended seven to nine hours.



Sleep Deprivation By Country


1. US – Loses 1.2 million working days each year, costing $411bn (£328bn) or 2.28% of GDP


2. Japan – Loses 600,000 working days each year, costing $138bn (£110bn) or 2.92% of GDP


3. UK – Loses 200,000 working days each year, costing £40bn or 1.86% GDP


4. Germany – Loses 200,000 working days each year, costing $60bn (£47.8bn) or 1.56% of GDP


5. Canada – Loses 80,000 working days a year, costing $21.4bn (£17.1bn) or 1.35% of GDP


Stacked against each other, the UK compares very favourably against the likes of Japan and the US. However, it doesn’t look too impressive next to Germany.

Germany has a population of 80 million people, which is around 15 million more than the UK. Despite this, we share the same amount of working days lost as a result of sleep deprivation.


Report Conclusions

The report concludes by calling on employers to acknowledge and promote the importance of sleep to their workforces.

It also suggested that they discourage the “extended use” of electronic devices outside of working hours.

They also offered up some more conventional advice such as employers telling staff to wake up at the same time each day and exercise during the day and improve their sleep if possible.

Marco Hafner, author of the report by Rand Europe 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.”

He also suggested that making small changes to your evening routine could potentially make a massive difference.

He stated that if those in the UK who were only managing to get less than six hours sleep per night increased it to between six and seven, it could add as much as 24bn to the economy.

Often, it can be hard to wind down after work, particularly if you’ve had a long and stressful day, this ultimately ends sin having a bad night’s sleep.

If this sounds all too familiar, take a look at our infographic ’27 Ways to Relax After A Stressful Day At Work’ for some actionable tips which may just improve your nighttime routine.