ONE in three people in the UK are suffering from sleep problems according to research.

Information from the World Sleep Survey by Big Health, reveal that the average UK employee loses 8.5 days of work a year due to poor sleep.

Sickness absence and working-age ill-health, including poor sleep, currently costs the UK economy £100 billion a year, while sleeping pills alone cost the NHS nearly £50 million a year.

“Poor sleepers” (those who rated their sleep quality as below average) missed 14.6 days of work per year. Alarmingly, 60 per cent of these poor sleepers don’t seek to fix the problem and did not consult their doctors about their bad sleep.

The 2,500 British participants in the World Sleep Survey stated that:

• The top three personal impacts of poor sleep were: (i) a decline in energy levels (60%), (ii) mood (48%) and (iii) relationships with others (35%);

• The top three repercussions affecting their work were: (i) concentration levels (46%), (ii) ability to complete work (38%) and (iii) ability to stay awake during the day (27%).

Professor Colin Espie, co-founder of Big Health and professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford said: “Sleep is not an optional extra in life; it is a fundamental requirement. World Sleep Day is the perfect time to acknowledge the widespread effect poor sleep has on our lives,”

“The consequences of a bad night’s rest affect us not only physically but also mentally and emotionally, seriously impacting our performance at work.

"Physically we will feel lethargic, mentally we become slowed down with poorer concentration and memory, and emotionally we may become irritable and rather down, with bursts of hyperactivity.

"In terms of daily life, no aspect of daily functioning is unaffected by sleep - least of all our jobs.”