Business owners struggle on just five hours’ sleep » SMEInsider

Business owners struggle on just five hours’ sleep

Half of all British business managers are getting by on less than five hours’ sleep a night, according to new research.

The study, carried out by the University of Leeds and bed manufacturer Silentnight, also found that almost a quarter (21 per cent) of those surveyed work more than 40 hours a week, and 30 per cent said their work negatively affects their sleep.

People who have what they consider to be stressful jobs were significantly more likely to take longer to fall asleep, get less sleep and be unhappy with their sleep.


Health impact

Both lack of sleep and work-related stress had an effect on quality of life and health, with associated problems including weight gain, stroke, heart attack and a compromised immune system.

Dr Anna Weighall from the University of Leeds, said: “Poor sleep has been implicated in a range of negative health outcomes and emotional problems such as stress, anxiety and depression, as well as poor daytime functioning which can even lead to accidents.

“Lack of sleep can result in poor day time performance, affecting our memories and our ability to learn and store new information which is crucial in the workplace.”


Top tips for a good night’s sleep

Sleep expert at Silentnight, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, has the following tips to help business owners to get their eight hours per night:

  • Take regular breaks during the day
  • Follow a regular wind-down routine
  • Manage the boundaries between work and home
  • Maintain good time management
  • Exercise regularly
  • Remove stimulants, such as caffeine
  • If you wake during the night, resist the urge to check the time and breathe deeply
  • Learn how to power nap for between five and 15 minutes
  • Keep your sleep environment cool and free of clutter
  • Don’t put pressure on yourself to sleep
  • Get plenty of vitamin B6 and tryptophan – found in chicken, cheese, tofu, tuna, eggs, nuts, seeds and milk.