Across the developed world tiredness as a result of sleep deprivation is becoming so common that the Centres for Disease Control has called it a “public health epidemic.”
Poor sleep has been linked to significant increases in the rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and cancer as well as minor ill-health (colds, flu and gastrointestinal issues). These result in direct medical costs as well as significant indirect costs associated with absenteeism and presenteeism.
When we suffer from poor sleep we suffer numerous physical and cognitive impairments which can lead to poor performance and human error. Sleep deprivation affects blood flow to three areas of the brain which play a crucial role in: decision making, attention span and the speed at which we adopt new information.
Our fast-paced lifestyle creates a situation that produces poor sleep habits and may exacerbate mental and physical health problems. All of these lead to decreased productivity, higher safety risks, and increased costs.
We know from research conducted by RAND Europe that sleep deprivation is costing on average £2,120 per employee per annum – please read this summary article. No organisation is unaffected and the cost for those who have sleeping problems (which can be fixed) will be considerably higher.