A new survey from SeventeenHundred and REMinder Health highlights the effect that a lack of sleep has on the performance of Australians in the workplace.

The research found that nine out of ten people experienced poor sleep and, on average, respondents felt their workplace performance would increase by 48% if they could get a better night’s sleep.

Dr Roy Sugarman, world renowned clinical psychologist and director of neuroscience at SeventeenHundred, said the findings demonstrated a clear need for employers to take the ‘sleep health’ of its workers seriously.

“Sleep is a vital part of everyone’s day, but unfortunately, most people simply aren’t getting sufficient quality sleep. This is having a negative impact on their general wellbeing and their performance at work, and it’s costing businesses a lot of money in lost productivity.

“A recent report by the Sleep Health Foundation said poor sleep cost the Australian economy more than $66 billion annually, with productivity losses alone accounting for almost $18 billion.

“Insufficient sleep has a similar effect to being drunk. Participants in an Australian trial who stayed awake for 17 to 19 hours were found to have an equivalent impact on their mental functioning and co-ordination as being legally drunk, with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%,” he said.

The survey also found that poor sleep is wider spread than people may realise, with more than half of the respondents (55%) reporting that poor sleep affected their concentration two or more days per week.

Even more worrying is that one in four respondents admitted to being impacted by poor sleep on a daily basis.

Additional findings include:

  • Men were impacted 50% more by poor sleep than women

  • 64% respondents expressed interest in a sleep wellness program

Aubrey Sonnenberg, CEO of SeventeenHundred, commented:

“This survey highlights the importance of sleep from a productivity perspective. Businesses should take an active role in ensuring their employees are well-rested and taking care of themselves during their down-time, as it ensures they perform at their peak during business hours.

“Good sleep habits are core to employees’ wellbeing and success at work. We work with businesses to maximise their outputs by supporting their employees in both their work and home environments. We will be offering a sleep wellness program alongside our other support solutions such as financial fitness, parental transition tools and mental health support.”