Revealed: The hidden cost of phoning in tired

Sleepless nights were responsible for as many as 11 per cent of sick days in the past year, it has been claimed.

Adults are estimated to get six hours and 12 minutes – less than the NHS recommended seven-nine hours.  This, along with waking up twice a night on average, means a third do not feel like they are getting enough quality sleep most nights. And more than six in ten feel the desire to nap at some point during the day.

Researchers estimated that this meant that one in six  have had to take on average three sick days from work in the past 12 months. This means lack of sleep leads to 14.4 million sick days every year.

A quarter of those surveyed told Canada Life they stay up too late with 14% blaming the use of  mobile phones and other tech devices in bed.

Inevitably, a further 21% reported physical conditions or illnesses, and 17% because of poor mental health, – a quarter of whom have had to take a sick day to catch up. One in ten also admitted they struggle with poor sleep because their partner snores, 16% have insomnia and 12% say their financial situation is so stressful, it keeps them awake.

And the situation shows no signs of improving with seven in ten confessing they’ve done nothing to address the problem. 

John Kendall, Senior Rehabilitation Consultant at Canada Life, which offers policy-holder companies access to a wellbeing app called MyStrength described lack of sleep and poor sleep quality as “a really important factor in our overall well-being and wellness”.

He added: “It underpins everything we do, forming the basis of how we feel, our health, wellness, our relationships, and our professional lives. If we can get sleep right, we are more resilient to the hurdles that life throws our way, and we can improve our health and wellness, the quality of our relationships, and how we perform at work. 

“Employers can play an important role in giving employees access to the right kind of help to improve their sleep and therefore, their overall wellbeing. Benefits like providing access to virtual GPs and support services can play a huge role.”

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