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April 6, 2023

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Chronic insomnia disorder is costing the UK economy up to £34 billion a year, research has revealed

New research has revealed that chronic insomnia disorder (CID) is costing the UK economy up to £34 billion a year. 

The report by research institute RAND Europe also suggests working days lost to CID result in an overall cost to UK GDP of 1.31% in lost productivity per year.

It estimates the total wellbeing costs of insomnia in the UK could be close to £17.7billion.

Marco Hafner, study co-author and RAND Europe research advisor, said: “This new research lays bare the significant personal and economic impacts that the inadequate management of sleep conditions such as chronic insomnia disorder is having in the UK.
“Our findings point to the need for more timely diagnosis and management of insomnia to improve outcomes for patients and deliver better economic outcomes for the UK.
“This could include incorporating insomnia screening within routine clinic visits and enabling access to evidence-based, affordable, and cost-effective treatments for chronic insomnia.”

CID is a persistent medical condition that impacts a person’s ability to fall or stay asleep for at least three nights per week for at least three months.

In a recent survey of UK insomnia sufferers over 80% of respondents reported that their condition impacted their performance at work along with their ability to concentrate and maintain stress levels.
The findings show that in the UK, CID is associated with approximately 11 to 18 days of absence from work, 39 to 45 days of working whilst sick, and 44 to 54 days of overall productivity loss annually.

The ‘serious toll’ of insomnia 

Poor management of sleep disorders such as CID is also associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, falls, and costly workplace errors.

Kevin Bampton, CEO, British Occupational Hygiene Society, said: “Ensuring the health of our workforce is fundamental to building economic growth, and these new findings highlight what a critical impact sleep conditions like chronic insomnia disorder can have on this.
“Recent years have shown the difference employers can make to protecting the health of their workforce by implementing preventative measures.
“Elevating the importance of sleep health and supporting employees to achieve the restorative sleep they need not only supports the health of workers, but has the potential to improve productivity, to the benefit of all.”

 Findings also highlight the serious toll that insomnia places on quality of life and wellbeing.

A monetary valuation approach Wellbeing-adjusted Life Year (WELLBY) showed those affected by CID were willing to trade on average an estimated 14% of their annual per-capita household income to recuperate the wellbeing loss associated with the condition.
The report was funded by biopharmaceutical company Idorsia UK and bosses are now calling for greater global action to tackle the burden of CID and reduce its impacts on individuals, employers and society.

Recommendations for health leaders and clinicians include steps to help increase awareness of the importance of sleep, improve diagnosis and management of insomnia, and support optimal treatment.

Robert Moore, General Manager of Idorsia UK, said: “Though widely under-researched, sleep is an essential pillar for good physical and mental health. We welcome these clear recommendations from RAND Europe to help address the current burden of insomnia in the UK.
“Idorsia commits to working alongside other UK stakeholders to help increase public understanding of the benefits of quality, restorative sleep and provide solutions that improve both the identification and management of CID.”

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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Nigel Evelyn-dupree
Nigel Evelyn-dupree
1 year ago

Hardly surprising without a formal “Right to Disconnect” and knowingly acknowledging that an average ‘9’ hours or more a day on sub-optimally calibrated display screens to mitigate over-exposure by ‘5’ hours a day or more as “Sleep Procrastination” affects those likely to be classified as suffering “Presenteeism” on-line in education and the workplace.