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Bupa reveals that bad sleeping habits are costing employers over £1 billion


According to Bupa, the British workplace is losing an estimated £1.6 billion a year due to lack of sleep.  

The Bupa ’How Are You Britain?’ report* reveals sleep-starved workers are taking three extra days sick leave a year compared to their well rested colleagues – costing UK businesses over £280 per annum for every employee. 

The report reveals that over a quarter (27 per cent) of the working nation  wakes up feeling tired and un-refreshed, with Sunday being the worst night of the week for a bad night’s sleep.    

Bupa sleep expert, Dr Ian Mak from the Cromwell Hospital said: “Over long periods of time, lack of sleep can affect your decision making, your reactions and your judgement. It may even be a factor in the development of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and mental health problems.”

When it comes to sleepless nights, the research reveals that stress is a major contributor. 

In Britain, close to a quarter (23 per cent) of workers, report suffering from high levels of stress, with 66 per cent feeling stressed and overwhelmed at least once a fortnight.

In fact in a working year, employees spend 40 per cent (91days) of the time feeling stressed and overwhelmed. 

The cost of a bad night’s sleep is not limited to sick days.  Half of those questioned said they drag themselves into work feeling tired and un-refreshed over 20 times a year. 

Shattered workers are 23 per cent less satisfied in their jobs and admit to low levels of productivity (24 per cent) compared to their colleagues.
Banking and finance is the worst affected industry, with employees admitting to feeling tired and un-refreshed on average 34 days of the working year, closely followed by education  and government (average 31 days per year).

Dr Mak continued: “The effects of sleep deprivation have led scientists to believe that a good night’s sleep is essential for people to be able to function properly on a daily basis.”

In the battle of the sexes, men and women are on a fairly equal footing when it comes to sleep deprivation (29 per cent of women versus 24 per cent of men); however women are 35 per cent more likely to take time off work due to lack of sleep than their male counterparts.

Gender is not the only factor that counts; age plays a significant role, with 39 per cent of employees aged 45 to 59 getting over seven hours sleep a night, compared to over half (55 per cent) of under 29s. 


Notes to Editors:

* Report Content
Findings reported here are taken from the fourth chapter of the Bupa ’How Are You Britain?’ report, a yearlong study using a variety of research techniques to understand the ongoing health and well being of the nation.

Research for this chapter was conducted using several different methods including:

Data was collected amongst a nationally representative sample of 7,787 working adults between January – December 2009. The research comes from the Bupa Positive Health Report, the results have been analysed by medical experts.

Research data for this chapter was conducted amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,828 by Fly Research between 5th – 7th October 2010.

External sources, CIPD annual report 2009, absence management

About Bupa
Bupa’s purpose is to help people lead longer, healthier, happier lives. 

A leading international healthcare group, Bupa offers personal health insurance and corporate health insurance, run care homes for older people and hospitals, and provide workplace health services, health assessments and chronic disease management services, including health coaching, critical illness insurance, and home healthcare. 

For more information please contact:
Zerrin Levy
PR Office
Bupa House
15-19 Bloomsbury Way
Tel: +44 (0)207 656 2454


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