Belfast Telegraph

Sleep loss due to recession hurts economy

The recession is causing managers to lose sleep, severely affecting their productivity as well as relationships with friends and family, according to a new report today.

A survey of adults in five countries, including the UK, showed that three out of four were sleeping one hour 40 minutes less than the recommended eight hours a night.

Electronics giant Philips said its study of 2,500 adults also found that many of those losing sleep blamed the state of the world economy.

The impact in the UK could be costing the economy billions of pounds, with managers losing around six days' work a year through lack of sleep, it was suggested.

Dr David White, chief medical officer for Philips Home Healthcare Solutions, said: “People lose sleep either because they cannot sleep or because they are not setting aside enough time for sleep — both of which can happen because of work-related stress in the current economic environment. People simply need to take sleep much more seriously.

“The consequences of not sleeping enough are well documented.

“People who do not get enough sleep can gain weight, are prone to diabetes, high blood pressure and even heart attacks.

“We are facing a serious healthcare problem if we do not take sleep more seriously.”

In addition to the findings about lack of sleep, the survey also found that while 96% of managers recognised that inadequate sleep could affect health, only 29% discussed their sleep problems.

Of those that did, just 27% sought professional help from a physician with the majority simply talking about their problems with family and friends.

In the UK, more than 770,000 people suffer from sleep apnea - repeated cessation of breathing during sleep.

Belfast Telegraph