Home Business News Poor sleep is costing the UK economy a staggering £40 billion a year

Poor sleep is costing the UK economy a staggering £40 billion a year

by LLB Finance Reporter
13th Mar 24 6:34 am

The globally renowned University College London has revealed shocking statistics detailing the economic impact poor sleep is having on businesses across the UK.

According to the report, led by Dr Gillian Weston, productivity losses are estimated at over £40 billion annually – a staggering amount in an already challenging economic climate.

With nearly half of the UK population getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, sleep deprivation is proving detrimental to the health of both the people and the economy.

Productivity and employee wellbeing underpin thriving business, but the recent report suggests that this cornerstone of economic growth is being compromised as a result of millions of individuals suffering from insufficient sleep.

In addition to a myriad of health-related problems – including mental health issues, links to chronic diseases such as diabetes, and work-related injuries – poor sleep can also lead to reduced concentration levels, impaired decision-making, and a general decline in cognitive abilities. Left unaddressed, this not only leads to increased levels of absenteeism for employers and a diminished workforce, but it further strains the already stretched healthcare system.

The recently confirmed recession and last week’s Spring budget reinforce the importance of a strong economy and the need for a productive workforce. As Jeremy Hunt places high importance on global growth, better sleep could be a vital catalyst for nurturing economic development.

£40 billion in productivity lost to sleep is cause for concern not only to business owners, but also to the public. Between October and December 2023, the economy shrank by 0.3% – generally indicating that people are earning less, spending less, and that the nation isn’t progressing financially.

Better sleep and higher rate of productivity could not only negate the staggering £40 billion loss but would actually lead to a 1.86% increase in the GDP – an increase not seen in three years that could facilitate game-changing spend across a number of public services.

As the country looks to tackle the concerning statistics and boost economic growth, research indicates that better nutrition could be the key to improved sleep outcomes. Studies suggest that the superfood Ashwagandha can help to improve overall sleep quality, by reducing feelings of stress and anxiety; while Tart Cherry can increase levels of Melatonin, a sleep hormone which is critical in regulating an individual’s sleep-wake cycles, bringing on sleep faster and for longer. When it comes to increasing REM sleep – crucial for memory and learning – studies suggest that 5-HTP can be effective by helping to promote healthy sleep patterns.

However, these nutrients are not as easily obtained through a healthy diet alone, and many experts recommend supplementing with multivitamins and functional foods. Nourished, an innovative 3D-printed nutrient gummy brand, creates a range of bite-sized Stacks, each with seven unique layers of high impact active ingredients, designed to aid a variety of health goals. The Sleep Tight Stack helps promote a restful night with double layers of Tart Cherry and Ashwagandha, as well as a layer of 5-HTP.

Melissa Snover, CEO and Founder of Nourished, and registered nutritionist, said,  “Sleep is a key pillar of both physical and mental health, and the consequences of poor sleep extend beyond just individual wellbeing, as evidenced by the UCL study.

“Proper nutrition, involving high impact nutrients, vitamins, and superfoods, can play a vital role in mitigating the adverse effects of poor sleep – especially when we take the time to understand our bodies and make informed, personalised decisions.

“Targeted supplementation can address nutritional deficiencies that may hinder the body’s natural ability to promote restfulness, highlighting the importance of key nutrients such as Ashwagandha, 5-HTP and Tart Cherry, and how essential they can be to achieving restorative and quality sleep. As we prioritise quality sleep and nutritional well-being, we pave the way for a more resilient and thriving economy.”

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