SLEEP-deprived Dorset residents, attempting to juggle the demands of busy work and home lives, are running a risk of developing health problems and being involved in road crashes.

That’s the view of West Moors GP Dr Tom McKinstry, chairman of the East Dorset division of the British Medical Association, and a Bournemouth University sleep expert.

The warning comes after a new survey showed that many workers feel guilty about having a lie-in at weekends with a third getting up at the same time as they do during the week to catch up with chores.

Statistics show that one in three Britons manages a weekend lie-in just six times a year with almost half of those questioned worried about wasting precious time off.

Dr McKinstry told the Daily Echo: “I constantly see patients who complain they are not getting quality sleep; you need up to nine hours sleep every night.

“In today’s environment, with the stresses and strains of everyday life, most people are not getting enough sleep. Maybe their beds are uncomfortable; maybe they are too anxious to sleep because of redundancy fears or financial concerns.

“I see a lot of construction industry workers who complain about back pain and neck pain, which is related to not having a relaxed night’s sleep.

“It is particularly important that children get a good night’s sleep; lights should be switched off at 8 o’clock to ensure they don’t spend their evenings watching TV or playing computer games.

“Sleep deprivation creates all sorts of health problems such as depression and also puts drivers at risk because it leads to a lack of concentration.”

Senior psychology lecturer Dr Andrew Mayers said: “It is important to get around eight hours’ sleep a night; otherwise you increase your risk of developing conditions such as depression and anxiety.

“Evidence shows a link between road accidents and lack of sleep; people deprived of sleep are more likely to be involved in car crashes.

“As well as having a good night’s sleep it is important to have a routine and not shift sleeping patterns by more than one or two hours at weekends.”