More than a third (36%) of Brits struggle to sleep each week – putting them at risk of poor vision, heart disease, memory problems, and more.
As a means of trying to overcome these sleep issues, many Brits purchase sleep aids, such as calming app subscriptions and sleep trackers.
Martin Seeley, CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay said: ‘We’re currently living through a period where the cost of living at its highest in 30 years. While our days may be busy and preoccupied with work, family life and errands, once we get into bed and have time to stop and pause, our mind may become preoccupied with money worries. These anxious feelings can keep you up at night and disrupt your sleeping pattern as a result.
‘Likewise, it’s been reported that the UK works around two hours more than the EU average. This ‘always connected’ lifestyle to work means that we aren’t spending enough time resting on the lead-up to bed, which can also lead to anxious thoughts at night about tomorrow’s to-do list.
‘As a result of all of this, many Brits spend money on trying to get a good night’s sleep – which our survey results have revealed.’
1 in 5 Brits have bought an item to better their sleep
After surveying 1,000 Brits, MattressNextDay’s research has revealed that more than 1 in 5 (21%) of Brits have bought an item in the past year to better their sleep. But just how much are those 21% spending on sleep aids? I
- 1 in 7 (14%) spend between £31–£60 per year
- 1 in 7 (14%) spend between £61–£100 per year
- Almost 1 in 10 (9%) spend between £100–£149 per year
- Almost 1 in 5 (18%) spend more than £150 per year
Of those that buy sleep aids, 27% will spend £6,000 over their lifespan
Staggeringly, 27% of those who spend money on sleep aids spend over £100 per year. If we were to calculate this over the average adult lifespan, we spend asleep, they would spend a shocking £6,000 in an attempt to get a good night’s sleep. This includes purchasing items from the adult age of 21 right up until the average UK age lifespan at 81 years’ old. The sleep aids include the likes of CBD oils, sleep sprays and even sleep courses.
Men spend more money on sleep aids than women
Almost a quarter (23%) of men stated they had spent money on trying to sleep in the past 12 months. While this is only a slight increase when compared to women (21%), the data suggests that men are, in fact, spending more on getting a good night’s sleep. Likewise, 7% of men said they had spent more than £100 on sleep aids. In comparison, only 4% of women said the same.
Martin Seeley has revealed why this is likely to be the case: ‘It’s common knowledge that women tend to sleep longer than men, making them less likely to require any sleep aids. In addition, women are in the restorative deep sleep stage longer than men, which could be why so many men in the survey are resorting to spending money on sleep aids.
‘It’s also believed that men are more likely to be woken up by any disturbances, which can lead to a negative impact on sleep quality. This is because women are said to be more evolved to manage sleep disturbances.’
Top 9 most popular sleep aids
But what sleep aids are Brits buying? MattressNextDay have uncovered the top 9 most popular:
- CBD oil – 1,920,552 Google searches in the last year
- Lavender oil – 1,567,120 Google searches in the last year
- Sleep spray – 963,920 Google searches in the last year
- Calm app – 690,750 Google searches in the last year
- SAD lamp – 687,900 Google searches in the last year
- Sleep therapy – 647,430 Google searches in the last year
- Oura ring – 418,750 Google searches in the last year
- Sleep stones – 114,720 Google searches in the last year
- Fitbit sleep – 52,050 Google searches in the last year
As CBD oil is an up-and-coming treatment for insomnia, it’s little surprise that it’s the most popular sleep aid, generating almost 2 million Google searches in the past year. Likewise, lavender oil is the second most searched sleep aid, commonly used for relaxation and getting to sleep.
Sleep sprays, or pillow mists, are the third most popular items to help us sleep, with 963,920 searches in 2021. These are designed to produce sleep inducing aromas to help us fall asleep quicker.
In the past year, there were 690,750 searches for the Calm app, and a further 687,900 for SAD lamps, again highlighting our reliability on tools and devices to help us sleep. The Calm app boasts sleep stories and breathing techniques, while SAD lamps help regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
Further highlighting just how much we are struggling to sleep, in sixth place is ‘sleep therapy’ which was searched for 647,430 times last year. You can access this privately, sometimes at a cost of hundreds, or through your GP who may refer you for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Searches for ‘sleep therapy’ peaked to their highest level in Apr 2020, due to the pandemic, and it looks like we haven’t yet recovered the ability to sleep.
The Oura Ring, made famous by Kim Kardashian, has also seen a significant 40% rise in searches between 2020 and 2021. This ring bills itself as the most accurate sleep tracker, with a price tag starting at £224. Similarly, searches for ‘fitbit sleep’ hit over 50,000 last year, suggesting more Brits are determined to measure just how well they sleep.
Sleep stones work in a similar way to pillow mists, and are the eighth most popular aid. To use, you simply open the jar of stones and allow the aromas to fragrance the room, helping you drift off. Searches for sleep stones jumped a staggering 84% in the last year to 114,720.
How to fall asleep in five minutes using this free technique
Did you know that there is a breathing technique said to help people get to sleep in just 5 minutes?
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is one of the most commonly used treatments for people suffering from insomnia:
- Make sure to place the tip of your tongue behind your front teeth and press up to the roof of your mouth. You’ll need to keep your tongue here while doing this technique.
- Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Breathe out through your mouth for eight seconds. End this breath as if you are blowing out a candle.
- Repeat as many times as needed.