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Are 'Power Naps' the answer?

View profile for Alexandra Dean
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According to a new study report on by the BBC, sleep-deprived workers are costing the UK economy £40bn a year.

The calculation is based on tired employees being less productive or absent from work altogether.

Research firm Rand Europe, which used data from 62,000 people, said the loss equated to 1.86% of economic growth.

And while the impact of tired workers in the UK may sound bad, it still ranked better than both the US and Japan which lost the most working days due to lack of sleep.

The cost of sleep deprivation by country:

US loses 1.2 million working days a year, costing $411bn (£328bn) or 2.28% of GDP

Japan loses 600,000 working days a year, costing $138bn or 2.92% of GDP

UK loses 200,000 working days a year, costing £40bn, or 1.86% of GDP

Germany loses 200,000 working days a year, costing $60bn, or 1.56% of GDP

Canada loses 80,000 working days a year, costing $21.4bn or 1.35% of GDP

According to the study, the "healthy daily sleep range" is between seven and nine hours per night.

The report called on employers to recognise and promote the importance of sleep, urging them to build nap rooms.

It said they should also discourage staff from "extended use" of electronic devices after working hours.

Individuals were advised to wake up at the same time each day and exercise during the day to improve their sleep.

"The effects from a lack of sleep are massive. Sleep deprivation not only influences an individual's health and wellbeing but has a significant impact on a nation's economy," said Marco Hafner, a research leader at Rand Europe and the report's main author.

Mr Hafner said small changes could make a big difference, saying if those in the UK currently sleeping under six hours a night increased this to between six and seven hours it would add £24bn to the UK's economy.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues. At Gepp & Sons Solicitors we can advise on all aspects of employment law. For more information and guidance, please contact Alexandra Dean on 01245 228141 or email deana@gepp.co.uk