Chemist4U has surveyed over 2,000 UK adults from across the country to conduct a comprehensive sleep analysis on the state of the nation’s sleep. Previous research from Chemist4U highlighted sleeping habits during Covid-19, but as restrictions have lifted, the study has been updated to see what’s changed.
Sleep is one of the most important factors contributing to overall health and well-being; however, it’s easy to neglect sleep when lives get busier, and it’s one of the first things to be disrupted due to life changes such as stress or financial worries.
Has the amount of sleep Brits got on average changed during the past two years due to Covid 19? The pandemic has had a huge effect on everyone’s day to day lives, and to find out how much of an impact it had on the nation’s sleep. The survey revealed that 27% of respondents feel they get less sleep, 16% get more, and 57% get the same amount.
Top 5 factors keeping the nation up at night
- Day to day stress and anxiety was revealed to be the top factors keeping people up at night, with 28% saying this is the most significant factor affecting their sleep.
- However, the second-highest response was “nothing keeps me up at night”, suggesting that over a fifth of Brits are getting good quality sleep.
- “Financial worries” also appeared to play a big part in keeping the nation up, with 21% listing it as a top factor.
- Some of the least troubling things to Brits when it comes to getting off to sleep was “pets either in the bed or house”, which was listed the least times as a factor at only 8% and “too much caffeine”, recorded by only 9% of respondents.
Top 10 factors helping the nation sleep
- The top survey response was “nothing helps me to go sleep” (28%); however, 1 in 5 also said that “nothing keeps them up at night”, suggesting that the majority of respondents who admit to having trouble getting to sleep don’t use a method to help them nod off.
- The second highest response rate was “reading before bed”, with 25% listing this as their bedtime routine, with “watching a movie/ series” following at 18%
Surprisingly, “scrolling on social media” was listed by 11% of respondents and appeared to be a more popular method than the classic “putting a fan on” (7%) and even “calling a spouse/friend/partner” (4%)
How much sleep the nation is getting on average
- The recommended amount of sleep is 8 hours per night, and this survey revealed that the average UK adult gets only 6 hours and 10 minutes per night.
- When looking at an age breakdown, we can see that the 55+ category averages the most sleep per night, at 6.29 hours, whereas 35-44-year-olds are scraping by with only 5.81 hours per night.
- Women’s average amount of sleep per night is 6.04 hours, with men averaging 6.17 hours.
- Survey results also revealed that more of the population is getting less than 1 hour of sleep (1.65%) than over 9-10 hours of sleep (1.05%)
Other key findings from the survey are:
- Approximately 23% of us only get between five and six hours of sleep per night.
- We also discovered that nearly 15% of us spend more than an hour per week watching television in bed, while only 11% said they spend the same amount of time talking to their partner, and just over 7% told us they get intimate for this length of time per week.
- More than 35% of us would rather sleep alone than with a partner.
- 16% of pet owners admit to letting their pets sleep in their beds every night, while just 8% of parents let their children sleep in their bed every night, indicating that, as a nation, we might be softer on our pets than our kids.
- 1 in 10 couples who live in the same household admit to sleeping in separate beds every night.
- 1 in 5 of respondents (21%) said they argue with their spouse around sleeping habits, and the majority of those (53%) say about “snoring”, followed by “tossing and turning” (27%) as the second-highest source of disagreements. The third most common reason for arguments is due to the “time partner goes to sleep” (25%)
- 65% of adults have a side of the bed they most like to sleep on, with 33% choosing the left side and 32% choosing the right side.
- The average time in bed is 6.10 hours for all respondents, with women averaging 6.04 hours and men averaging 6.17 hours.
- Men are 10% more likely than women to prefer sleeping with their other half rather than sleeping alone.
- Women are 27% more likely to sleep in pyjamas than men, who have an overall (38%) preference to sleep naked.
Northern Ireland residents appear to be the most stressed sleepers, with 43% of respondents saying stress and anxiety are one of the top factors keeping them up at night.
James O’Loan, pharmacist and CEO at Chemist4U, comments: ‘Not getting enough sleep won’t just make you feel grumpy or groggy in the morning, but it can have more serious side effects.’
‘The correlations between a lack of sleep and your concentration, memory, and mood are well known. Still, you could also be leaving yourself vulnerable to conditions like type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease if you neglect your nightly rest.’
‘The world has become a more stressful place in recent years, with the pandemic, rising household bills, and world events keeping many of us up at night. If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider speaking to your doctor or pharmacist about sleep aids, which can be used in the short term to help you get enough sleep and fall back into a regular sleep pattern.’
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