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Sleeplessness in the UK

Are You Getting a Good Night’s Sleep?

We might spend a third of our lives sleeping, but studies show that many of us still don’t get the optimal eight hours of sleep per night, as recommended by BUPA.

Having a regular good night’s sleep is shown to have proven health benefits, yet it’s normally the first thing to be sacrificed in our busy lifestyles, but how many people in the country are making this sacrifice? We decided to figure this out.

To do this, we looked at the sleep habits of 1,000 adults across the UK to find out if Brits are potentially sleep walking our way into health problems.

Here’s what we found out:

How Many of Us Get Eight Hours?

Shockingly, the recommended eight hours is a mere pipedream for 81% of British adults. Our research showed the national average as just six hours and 37 minutes of sleep per night, with 15% admitting to having less than five hours! On the other end of the spectrum, a lucky 5% of the nation said that they enjoyed nine hours or more every night.

With so many of us failing to get enough sleep, it seems as though some changes need to be made to our bedtime routines to make sure we hit the hay earlier.

The Sleepiest Cities in the UK

Using our data, we were able to compile a list of the top 20 sleep cities in the UK. The five cities who topped the list were:
  • Swansea – sleeping an average of 7.05 hours a night
  • Plymouth – 7.02 hours a night
  • Sheffield – 6.58 hours a night
  • Leeds – 6.52 hours a night
  • Edinburgh – 6.47 hours a night

Down at the bottom of our list was York, with their residents only getting an average of 6.14 hours a night – almost two hours less than the recommended minimum.

Does Gender or Age Affect Sleep?

On average, women get marginally more shut-eye than men each night, enjoying an extra six minutes of beauty sleep. In fact, 24% of women said that they get 8+ hours of sleep daily, compared to just 21% of men.
Those in the 18-24-year-old category valued their sleep the most, grabbing an average of six hours and 48 minutes a night. It was the 25-34-year-olds who were revealed to have the least sleep (at six hours and 26 minutes per night).

Across the board, it seems as though barely any of us fit in our recommended eight hours of sleep. Whatever the reasons might be, it’s important to understand what we’re putting our bodies through when we skip our vital slumber. 

Sleep Your Way to Good Health

When you fail to get enough sleep, you will start to experience symptoms of ill health, according to the NHS, lack of sleep often results feelings of fatigue, a lack of focus and even a shorter temper than usual.
But a bad mood isn’t the only symptom of a lack of sleep. It can also make you prone to serious medical conditions, like:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

The recommended eight hours isn’t just a myth – research shows that sacrificing sleep could have a long-term impact on your health and wellbeing. So, making sure you have a good night’s sleep may be the answer for a happier and healthier lifestyle.

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Everyone’s sleep routine is different, but there are a few changes you could make so that when you manage to get your head down, you can enjoy a great night’s sleep. Why not try some of our handy tips to get the best rest:

  • If you need complete darkness to fall asleep, consider investing in some blackout blinds in your bedroom.
  • Try not to use any technology at least an hour before bed – the light emitted from their screens cause increased alertness as well as stimulating our brains, reducing our ability to wind down.
  • Limit the amount of caffeine you drink – it’s a stimulant that can disrupt your sleep, even if it's consumed in the afternoon.
Don’t put off going to sleep – your sleeping time is incredibly valuable to your health and our research revealed that not nearly enough of us get the recommended amount of kip each night. This is something we should change for the good of our wellbeing - whether you need to cut down on caffeine or get a new set of blinds in your bedroom, make sure you’re not one of the many who are sleepless in the UK.

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