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Employers play a significant role in promoting good sleep habits among their employees, as adequate sleep is crucial for overall health, wellbeing, and productivity.

According to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), people are missing out on a night's worth of sleep every week. Furthermore:

  • Sleep is as vital for survival and health as food and water. Sleep is involuntary and inevitable.
  • A wealth of evidence exists about the fundamental role sleep plays in protecting us from problems with our health and wellbeing. Poor sleep is linked to a wide range of physical, mental, behavioural and performance issues.
  • Despite this, four in ten people aren’t getting enough sleep, while one in five sleep poorly most nights, representing the second most common health complaint after pain.
The impact of lack of sleep

Emerging research highlights the connections between insufficient sleep and conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Moreover, it heightens susceptibility to infections and raises the likelihood of accidents and injuries.

Factors contributing to inadequate sleep include work-related stress, irregular work hours, illness, ageing, financial concerns, and personal loss, among others.

Identifying whether sleep deprivation impacts performance at work is crucial. Common indicators include a decline in overall performance, difficulties with concentration and memory, mood disturbances, and an increased propensity for risk-taking behaviours. Recognising these signs is essential for maintaining wellbeing and productivity in the workplace.

Source: Is lack of sleep affecting your work? - UK Health Security Agency (

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) highlight that even minor sleep loss can impact on leadership skills and competencies, known as ‘executive functions’, the effects of which can include:

  • Comprehending and coping with a rapidly changing environment
  • Multi-tasking
  • Producing innovative solutions to problems
  • Assessing risk and anticipating the range of consequences of an action
  • Controlling inhibited behaviour
  • Communication skills
  • Decision-making involving complex and creative ideas


What actions can employers take?

Employers should ensure they are informed about and raise awareness of the following information to their employees:

By providing employees with this insight into sleep, they can take proactive steps to contribute to a healthier and more productive work environment for all.