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New research shows UK productivity suffers due to nation’s poor sleep habits and technology overload

New research commissioned by the makers of leading sleep aid brand Nytol*, has revealed that over a quarter of people (26%) believe they operate at half their capacity or less, after a bad night’s sleep. 46% get stressed more easily and one in four (25%) people in full time employment feel less in control at work after a poor night’s sleep.

Furthermore, 40% of people claim they “often feel tired”. This also comes at a time when we are seeing the UK’s productivity lag way behind other economies, suggesting that our nation’s sleep habits are not just affecting us individually, but may be having a serious knock on impact on the UK economy.

Half (50%) of those questioned are getting a maximum of six hours sleep a night. This falls short of recommendations put forward by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), who have devised a “Slumber Number”, stating 18-64 year olds need an average of 7-9 hours a night. The RSPH is urging the UK government to deliver a national strategy to urgently address the nation’s under-sleeping habits. Regular poor sleep is known to increase the risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes, as well as shortening your life expectancy.

Further findings from the new research by Nytol looking at the cause of poor sleep, have shown that a third of people in full time work (32%) are losing sleep because they feel they have too many demands on their time, while 30% are kept awake by unfinished to do lists and 11% by having too many emails in their inbox.

A quarter of young adults (aged 16-24) claim they are often going to bed later than planned because they are working late and a third (33%) stay up browsing the internet.

Sleep expert, Dr Neil Stanley comments,
“Many people are stuck in a vicious cycle. Poor sleep habits make people less productive in the workplace and when suffering with sleepiness, they often find it harder to make critical decisions. We then see people taking work home with them, sometimes working late into the night. This in turn can disrupt sleep for the following night. “

In our “always available” culture, the impact of technology on sleep is becoming increasingly problematic. Some experts believe that blue light emitted from screens affects the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, which is causing an increase in sleep disturbances. It is therefore not surprising that sleep disturbances are becoming increasingly common when research has shown that one in five (20%) people living in London check their email at least five times an hour.

Almost a quarter (24%) of 16-24 year olds and a fifth (21%) of people aged 25-34 are browsing the internet and checking emails between 11pm-1am. Furthermore, 23% of young people go on social media and 26% browse the internet when they are having trouble sleeping.

Dr Stanley continues,
“People now commonly turn to devices as a means of distraction when they are struggling to drop off to sleep. However, this is likely to be making the situation worse. There are three vital steps to help ensure you have a restful night’s sleep - an environment conducive to sleep, a relaxed body and a quiet mind. Going to bed and waking up at a regular time can also help to avoid sleep disturbances. When you are out of a normal sleep pattern, sleep aids** can be helpful for some people to re-establish a normal rhythm by teaching your body when it is time to sleep.”

Additional findings from the research showed that despite the impact sleep deprivation, 27% of people would choose to do nothing about not being able to sleep on a regular basis. The same proportion (27%) of people would be likely to try a natural/herbal remedy. However, a huge proportion were unable to identify any natural active ingredients that can help to induce sleep: 89% were unaware that valerian helps to induce sleep, 96% were unaware of hops and 98% of passion flower.

For occasional nights when you need help to drop off, new Nytol Herbal Simply Sleep One-A-Night is a traditional herbal medicinal product containing natural active ingredients that is used to provide temporary relief from sleep disturbances. From the UK’s number 1 sleep aid brand*, Nytol Herbal Simply Sleep One-A-Night contains 385mg of valerian root extract which has been used for decades to induce sleep and promote calmness. One tablet should be taken with water 30-60 minutes before bed. Available in packs of 21 tablets (RRP £5.99***) from supermarkets, health and beauty stores and pharmacies.

Suitable for adults over 18 years of age.

More information can be found at:

Nytol Herbal Simply Sleep One-A-Night tablets contain valerian root extract. Traditional herbal medicinal product for use in the relief of temporary sleep disturbances exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the leaflet.

Further information, or for an interview with Dr Stanley, please contact:

Katy Sparks, 07748 762275
About Dr Neil Stanley
Dr Neil Stanley is an internationally renowned independent sleep expert who has been involved in sleep research for more than 34 years. He started his career at the Neurosciences Division of the R.A.F. Institute of Aviation Medicine, then moved to the Human Psychopharmacology Research Unit (HPRU), part of the University of Surrey, where as Director of Sleep Research, he created and ran a 24 bed sleep laboratory designed for clinical trials.

Dr Stanely has published 38 peer-review papers on various aspects of sleep research and psychopharmacology and is involved in the work of a number of professional sleep organisations, both in the UK and internationally. He now spends much of his time lecturing in the UK and abroad on various aspects of sleep to healthcare professionals, companies and members of the public.

About Nytol

Nytol is the UK’s favourite sleep aid brand* with over 20 years’ experience of helping the nation to get a better night sleep. Nytol products range from over the counter treatments and herbal sleep aids to an Anti-Snoring throat spray.

About Perrigo

Perrigo Company plc is a top five global over-the-counter (OTC) consumer goods and pharmaceutical business offering consumers and customers high quality products at affordable prices. From its beginnings in 1887 as a packager of generic home remedies, Perrigo has grown to become the world's largest manufacturer of OTC products and supplier of infant formulas for the store brand market. It is headquartered in Ireland.

In the UK and Ireland Perrigo is a leading provider of medicines and healthcare products. Its portfolio includes consumer products, which are distributed through retail channels, and prescription medicines. It also offers specialist contract manufacturing services. Its products are sold throughout the UK, in Europe and beyond.

As a global business, Perrigo is committed to providing "Quality Affordable Healthcare Products™" to consumers around the world. Visit to find out more.

*Based on IRI unit sales data.
**Dr Stanley does not endorse Nytol or any other brands.
***Price is at the sole discretion of the retailer.