In her new book, The Business of Sleep: How sleeping better can transform your career, Ashridge Professor Vicki Culpin argues that the personal and business case for getting more sleep has never been more serious.

Business of Sleep Vicki Culpin

Indeed, getting the right amount of sleep could save the U.K. up to £36 billion per year. Professor Culpin’s research suggests that tackling sleep deprivation is key to improving productivity, employee wellbeing and effectiveness, and calls on organizations to make it a priority.

In her book, Professor Culpin describes how never before have significant percentages of working adults been so sleep deprived. Nearly half of the U.K. and U.S. adult populations are not getting enough sleep. And this is having a staggering impact on organizational life. It is affecting employees’ ability to focus, make good decisions and build relationships at work, as well as having a devastating impact on health.

Here are just a few key areas that can be negatively impacted by sleep deprivation:


Getting more sleep aids memory performance. And memory isn’t just critical for organizational success—like remembering to turn up on time to meetings, recalling critical sales figures, or meeting a deadline—it’s also fundamental to an individual’s core identity.


Even a single night of total sleep deprivation can have dramatic effects on the capacity to make good decisions. Sleep-deprived people are more likely to be side-lined by irrelevant trivia, lose track of what has been said, and become more distrustful.


Tired minds generate tired ideas. Both quantity and quality of sleep are important for all aspects of the creative process.


Small changes in sleep duration or sleep efficiency, even over just a few nights, can lead to health-related changes such as increased blood pressure, appetite regulation imbalances, and susceptibility to infection.


Negative mood is one of the most frequently cited effects of both short-term and chronic sleep problems. In recent research conducted by Professor Culpin, the most frequently reported effect of lack of sleep was “feeling irritable,” followed by “feeling more stressed,” and wanting to be “left alone.”

“Managers and HR professionals must take note. At a time when leaders and employees are operating in rapidly changing environments with no ‘blueprint’ of how to do things, this issue needs to be taken seriously.”

Vicki Culpin, Professor of Organisational Behaviour

To learn more about the importance of sleep, you can listen to Professor Culpin’s recent webinar here. You can also order The Business of Sleep: How sleeping better can transform your career on Amazon.

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