An epidemic of sleeplessness among Britons is spreading, damaging both their physical and mental health- says expert in health and clinical professor Vicki Culpin

In a book she wrote about the effects of insomnia on workers’ health – The Business of Sleep – Mrs Culpin explains the rise of insomnia in Britain, and its long time consequences on working adults.

Failing to get more than seven hours of sleep every night could expose yourself to severe health issues- such as more chances of suffering from dementia, depression, diabetes, cancer, obesity or even heart attacks. “Getting the right amount of sleep every night can reduce mortality, improve organisational effectiveness and save the UK economy between $36.7bn and $50bn (1.36%-1.86% of GDP) every year”, she explained to the Guardian.

Though this phenomenon has been going on for a while, it is worsening and seems to have spread to the majority of UK citizens. In 2013, the National Sleep Foundation in America found that 13% of Britons sleep less than six hours per night. More recently, the Royal Society for Public Health discovered most of us sleep around 6.8 hours each night.

This long-hours fashion is not helping the sleep-deprived. Vicki thinks most seem unaware of the long time effects of insomnia, and a number of people suffering sleeplessness seem to be using those hours to be more productive.  While Britons seem to be taking onto that no-hour-sleep culture, other European countries such as France or Denmark are still in the top 5 of countries with most insomnia. ”On an average i get 5 hours of sleep which affects my physical health, it also really impacts the mood because I am very tired so i get easily irritated or frustrated. Upon the years, i still put this insomnia to use, I use that time to work or study.” explains French Paul Bocuse student, Ondine Dalloni.  

Not only does this epidemic of sleeplessness carries out health issues, but it impacts the country’s economy. Due to a lack of sleep, the UK loses over 200.000 working days which represents a loss of 1.36% to 1.86% of GDP each year.

Get into a healthy sleep routine, save yourself and the country!