While most of us feel grumpy if we don’t get enough shut eye, it turns out that lack of sleep is having a much wider impact.
According to a new study, lack of sleep is costing the British economy billions every year, and even increasing the risk of death for the large numbers of overly tired Britons.
Researchers have looked into the cost to the economy in five difference countries – the UK, America, Canada, Germany and Japan.
What they found in Britain was that lack of sleep was costing the economy £40 billion, or two per cent of GDP each year.
And, for the individuals involved, the consequences can be much more dire. According to the scientists, people of any age who got less than six hours sleep per night on average were 13 per cent more likely to die that those who slept for seven to nine hours.
In the report, Why Sleep Matters: The Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep, researchers say that the healthiest daily sleep range is between seven and nine hours.
The study was conducted by the organisation RAND Europe. Lead investigator Dr Marco Hafner said that the effect of lack of sleep is massive. He added: “Sleep deprivation not only influences an individual’s health and wellbeing but has a significant impact on a nation’s economy, with lower productivity levels and a higher mortality risk among workers.”
Dr Hafner said that by making sure we each get enough sleep, it could provide a huge boost to the economy as a result of increased productivity and fewer working days lost. For instance, he said if those who got less than six hours managed to get an extra hour, that could add £24 billion to Britain PLC.
However, America was facing an even bigger impact, with £329 billion lost as a result of not enough sleep and 1.2 million working days lost.