01st Dec, 2020 Read time 2 minutes

Lack of sleep impacts the performance of over half of UK workers new survey finds

For many 2020 has been a year of disruption and this may have come both in the form of disruption in work and at home.

The study conducted over November surveyed 1009 workers in the UK and focused on whether or not they felt a lack of sleep had ever stopped them from performing at their best in the workplace. 

Survey Results: 

Question: Has a lack of sleep ever stopped you from performing at your best at work? 

Yes: 32.3% 

No: 44.6% 

Occasionally: 23.1% 

The results come in a year when many will have had their routines disrupted and potentially their circadian rhythms knocked out of kilter. Poor sleep and sleep deprivation have the ability to affect memory, motor skills and mood. Not getting enough sleep can also negatively affect the regular functioning of the immune system.

Pie Chart


Breakdown by Gender: 

Answered No:       Answered Yes:             Answered Occasionally: 

24.19% Male             14.72% Male                    11.21% Male

20.4% Female          17.56% Female               11.92% Female

Breakdown by Age:

Answered No:         Answered Yes:            Answered Occasionally:

5.36% 18-24                6.05% 18-24                     4.9% 18-24

8.04% 25-34               7.18% 25.34                      4.47% 25.34

8.25% 35-44               5.17% 35-44                     4.96% 35-44

8.63% 45-54               6.49% 45-54                    3.86% 45-54

6.35% 55-64               4.75% 55-64                     2.93% 55-64

7.97% 65+                   2.64% 65+                        2.01% 65+


What can be done to deal with a lack of sleep? 

With the health and safety industry strengthening the focus on mental health, HSE Network is highlighting the ability of good quality sleep to increase mental well-being with our Sleep Awareness Month. We will be releasing content focused on sleep and the benefits of getting enough of it. 

If you have any questions or thoughts around sleep and areas you would like to see covered, please email us at [email protected].

Further Reading

Our podcast with Dan Collins of Fresh Tracks offers tips and tricks on how to get better quality sleep and we will also be providing new articles and best practice that shows you how to sleep better. We also take a look in detail at how getting good quality sleep can increase your physical and mental well-being and your resulting safety at work. 

In addition to the podcast, we have also provided articles looking at the dangers of daylight savings and some of the major issues that can develop in workers who are sleep deprived.


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