We’ve heard a lot about work/life balance recently, but what about sleep? Nearly 40% of us say we don’t get enough of it yet the issue is rarely discussed as a significant social problem.
Lack of sleep affects both our working and family lives. Our sleeping time is reduced by long hours in the office, lengthy commutes and always-on access to email and the internet. Add young children to the mix and you've got a recipe for reduced productivity at work and tension at home.
Britain is already recognised as having a long-hours work culture which affects people’s well-being. But Dream On: Sleep in the 24/7 society exposes how a combination of long hours and high-pressure jobs is affecting people’s sleep, and creating a vicious circle of tiredness and stress. “On any working day, a quarter of all managers in Britain are likely to be in a bad mood because they have not slept well” says Charles Leadbeater, author of Dream On. Sleep-deprived and bad-tempered managers are responsible for millions of workers.
We need a change in our attitudes to sleep, so that working long hours and borrowing from sleep time is no longer seen as evidence of a busy, successful person. HR professionals and public policy-makers need to wake up to the danger of creating a ‘sleepless society’.