Do you go to work 'sleep drunk'?

MT thought booze was meant to be the scourge of the working classes but, it turns out, sleep deprivation is just as bad.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

A new study by online health and wellbeing firm vielife reckons that we’re all sleep-deprived zombies. At least one million UK workers suffer from 'sleep drunkenness', apparently, with bodies so starved of shut-eye that they have ceased to function.

The worst sufferers of this dozy disease are women: some 35% of those afflicted are of the fairer sex, compared to 31% of men. These poor souls are also more likely to suffer from depression and a whole host of health problems, from asthma to migraines, high blood pressure to poor BMI. Smokers, and those with a highly stressful work life, are more likely to find themselves sleep drunk, and thus find work even more stressful and chug on yet more fags. It's a vicious cycle; one that Don Draper must know well. 

So, how can you avoid this terrible, vice-engendering complaint? You can work exactly five days a week, no more, no less. And get seven to eight hours sleep a night. Freelancers and night owls, you’re doomed.

Vielife reckons that 'sleep drunkenness' is just as bad as its intoxicated namesake: it’s a ‘a semi-conscious existence equal to repeatedly driving their car well over the alcohol limit,’ it says. The company also adds, without a hint of irony, that 90% of people who experience poor sleep are unhappy about it. Should they be jumping for joy that Morpheus has forsaken them?

Of course, MT isn’t trivialising the issue of insomnia or broken sleep. Last year, Lloyds chief exec Antonio Horta-Osoria took a leave of absence after fatigue made his position untenable. But we do think that vielife may have a vested interest in a spot of scaremongering. They do want you to pay for their nifty online health plan after all…

So, get to bed nice and earlier tonight, if you want to avoid this monstrous infirmity. But don’t try telling your colleagues you can’t make it in because you’re ‘sleep drunk’. MT will not be held responsible for the consequences.

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