World Sleep Day: 'Sleep Economist' Available to Explain Why Insufficient Sleep Is Leading to Significant Costs to the UK Economy

March 13, 2020

On World Sleep Day (Friday 13th March 2020), Marco Hafner, a senior economist at RAND Europe and lead author of 'Why sleep matters — the economic costs of insufficient sleep', is available for media interviews to talk about the significant costs of insufficient sleep to the UK economy.

The report states that insufficient sleep among the UK working population is costing the economy up to £40 billion a year, which is 1.86 per cent of the country's GDP.

Lack of sleep among the UK working population leads to a higher mortality risk—13 per cent higher for those that sleep on average less than six hours compared to those that sleep on average seven to nine hours—and lower productivity levels at work—leading to a significant amount of lost working days owing to a lack of sleep among the working population. These factors combined impact the nation's economy.

RAND Europe's study was the first of its kind to quantify the economic losses due to lack of sleep among workers in five different countries—the US, UK, Canada, Germany, and Japan. The study used a large employer-employee dataset and data on sleep duration from the five countries to quantify the predicted economic effects from a lack of sleep among its workforce. In the UK, this included data from VitalityHealth's Britain's Healthiest Workplace study.

The report states that multiple factors are associated with shorter sleep. These include obesity, excessive alcohol and sugary drink consumption, smoking, lack of physical activity, mental health problems, long-term health conditions, stress at work, shift work/irregular working hours, financial concerns, and long commuting.

To arrange an interview with Marco Hafner please contact cmcshane@randeurope.org or 01223 353 329 x2560.

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