Bosses suffer from lack of sleep

01-11-2004

Half of all bosses say a lack of sleep makes them irritable and prone to shouting at their staff, a study says.

One in five managers also said being kept awake at night meant they were more likely to make mistakes, the Mori poll of 1,006 people revealed.

Some 48% of people aged 35 to 44 said they did not get enough sleep compared to a national average of 39%.

Among that age group, people with young children and managerial jobs were most likely to suffer.

The report, commissioned by the think tank Demos and Ikea, said the issue of sleep had been forgotten in the work/life balance debate.

Report author Charles Leadbeater said: "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.

"These sleep-deprived and shouty managers with a tendency to make mistakes are responsible for millions of British workers. It's hardly a recipe for good management.

And Mr Leadbeater called on the government and employers to take action.

"A small loss of sleep is likely to have a big impact on people who lead stressful lives.

"Stressed out parents are already not sleeping enough. They are the people most likely to have their sleep disrupted and they are least able to recover."

Apart from children keeping their parents awake, worrying about work was the biggest cause of wakefulness at night among managers (15%).

Women are five times more likely than men to lose sleep because their partner snores.

The report predicted that there was likely to be a growing market of sleep-deprived people, with an increase in "public napping".

Opportunities to take a nap at work are also likely to increase, and the report recommended that employers take their responsibility for ensuring employees were well slept more seriously.

Peter Jelkeby, marketing manager at Ikea, said the research confirmed suspicions Britons were not getting enough sleep.

And he added: "This is having a detrimental effect on our society as a whole."

BBC News

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