Two in five (39%) SME owners say the stress of Covid-19 has caused them to experience sleep problems or insomnia, according to a new study from small business insurer Simply Business.
The study, which spoke to 765 small business owners, found that two in five (43%) SME owners say Covid-19 is causing them to get 1-2 hours less sleep a night, while one in five (20%) say they’re now getting 2-3 hours less sleep a night.
More than half (51%) of self-employed people claim that poor sleep patterns have affected their mental health in the last 12 months, as the research reveals SME owners are in the midst of a Covid-19 induced sleep crisis.
The study also shockingly revealed that over a quarter (27%) of SME owners are getting by on a mere five hours sleep a night.
These findings should raise particular concerns for the wellbeing of the UK workforce, with numerous academic studies showing that regularly getting less sleep than the recommended amount can have a huge impact on your health and even make you three times more likely to catch a viral infection.
Just 6% of SME owners say they have been able to use lockdown as an opportunity to increase their sleep levels or improve their sleep.
Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, comments: “Small business owners have been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis – both financially and mentally. With the self-employed facing unprecedented challenges, our latest study highlights a huge deterioration in the wellbeing of an audience who are so important to our collective recovery.
“It is also clear that this period is having a major impact on the sleep quality of small business owners. That 63% are losing sleep due to the pressures of the pandemic – and 1 in 4 run their business on a mere five hours sleep a night – should be of concern to us all.”