Finance / Blue Monday costing the UK economy £93 billion

Blue Monday costing the UK economy £93 billion

Blue Monday, the third Monday in January is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. It is estimated to have cost the UK economy £93 billion.

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According to studies, lack of sleep can have a profound impact on moods, performance at work and undeniably is linked to depression. It is possible a good night’s sleep could minimise the impact Blue Monday has on employees and business.

Professor Colin Espie, world sleep expert from the University of Oxford and co-founder of Sleepio, said: “Sleep affects us on various levels – mentally, emotionally and physically – so when we have had no or insufficient sleep, we feel the consequences.

“Physically we will feel lethargic and drained, mentally we become slowed down with poorer concentration and memory, and emotionally we may become irritable and depressed, with bursts of hyperactivity.”

Espie has been measuring the world’s sleep since March 2010 through the Great British Sleep Survey and the World Sleep Survey.

He said: “In fact, sleep problems affect one in 3 of us in the UK at any one time, and about 10 per cent of the population on a chronic basis, with energy levels (60 per cent), mood (48 per cent), relationships with other people (35 per cent) and physical health (28 per cent) cited in the World Sleep Survey as the areas most impacted by poor sleep.

“The preliminary information from the first World Sleep Survey also found that professionally, poor sleep is a productivity killer as each full-time employee in the UK on average loses eight and a half work days every year due specifically to poor sleep.

“Respondents to the survey chose concentration (46 per cent), ability to complete work (38 per cent) and ability to stay awake during the day (27 per cent) as the three top issues affecting  their productivity after a night of poor sleep.”

“Employers are now also starting to wake up to the importance that sleep has in their employees’ lives, especially as poor sleep account for 24 per cent of the costs of workplace accidents.

“More companies are looking to offer their employees more than the standard subsidised gym membership or travel card. Helping to improve their sleep and thereby mental wellbeing is a critical part of this.”

For more information about the study please click here.