Sleep Awareness Week begins on Thursday 2nd March and ends on Thursday 9th March 2017, with the aim to encourage people to better their sleeping habits and improve health and wellbeing. We are therefore keen to try and understand what makes a ‘normal’ night’s sleep in the UK so that you can compare your sleeping habits and attempt to improve them going forward.
A survey conducted by The Sleep Council revealed some very interesting insight to UK sleeping habits. We have picked out the most intriguing findings below.
The average number of hours someone from the UK sleeps each night is 6 hours and 35 minutes. This is below the suggested 8 hours sleep per night adults should be getting in order to lead a healthy lifestyle, according to the NHS. Only 7% of Brits get 8-9 hours’ sleep per night, with another 7% getting less than 5 hours sleep a night!
The average bed time in the UK is 11.15pm, yet there are many influencing factors which determine a person’s bedtime. The amount of exercise you get during the day, whether you work or not, whether you have a partner or not all change the outcome, with single, unemployed people going to bed the latest. 7% of Brits don’t have a regular bed time and 17% of those people sleep poorly. The importance of a regular, structured sleep cycle is can’t be underestimated and can have many health benefits.
There are a vast number of issues which keep us Brits up at night, but a staggering 47% said that they have sleepless nights due to stress and worry. Disturbances from a partner were the second biggest cause of sleepless nights with snoring, duvet hogging, teeth grinding and fidgeting causing partners to loose precious hours of sleep. Environmental noise at night, health issues and having children were all other causes of a lack of sleep.
There is a lot that we Brit’s do to wind down before bed time and the most popular method is by reading a book, with 41% of people choosing this method to help themselves switch off before they go to sleep. The second most popular way to wind down is by watching television before bed, however experts feel that this can be ineffective and cause ‘electronic insomnia’ due to the exposure of bright light just before trying to sleep. There is an even higher risk of electronic insomnia if you use your phone, tablet or laptop before bed.
So how do you compare to the average UK sleeper? Are you getting enough sleep? Is it good quality sleep? Essentially, if your sleep has the following characteristics, you are within the UK average:
While this is the average sleep pattern, that doesn’t mean it is healthy for you. Depending on your age, lifestyle and a number of other factors, you may need much more sleep than this. With 22% of people saying they sleep poorly and a further 5% saying they sleep very poorly, there is clearly a problem with sleep quality in the UK. If you suffer from sleep deprivation, make sure you talk to your doctor in order to find a solution.