The state of the nation’s sleep has come under scrutiny for National Bed Month (March), which kicks off today, as we launch the results of our biggest ever audit of Britain’s bedtime habits.
We’ve gone back to basics to find out just how many of us suffer from poor sleep, what’s the average bedtime, and what keeps us awake or helps us sleep each night? And the results don’t disappoint.
According to our Great British Bedtime Report:
• A third of the population (33%) now get by on five to six hours sleep a night compared to 27% in 2010. And the majority of people (70%) sleep for seven hours or less.
• The report revealed the average Briton goes to bed at 11.15pm.
• Almost half of Britons say that stress or worry keeps them awake at night.
• As many as 7.9 million have used alcohol to help them get to sleep at night while 6.8 million self-medicate with over-the-counter tonics.
• High earners (£65 – £75,000) get the best sleep of all while those on low incomes (less than £15,000) sleep the worst.
• People who exercise five to six times per week are the least likely to take medication (12% compared to a national average of 17%) which suggests this could be the optimal amount of exercise needed to improve sleep.
• More than one in five respondents saying they could improve their sleep simply by buying a new bed. And seven out of 10 (72%) follow Sleep Council advice and have had their bed for less than seven years.
• The average people spend on a new bed is £583.05 and the divan is the most widely bought type with 63% of us sleeping on one. King size beds are popular with 31% choosing this size.
(Click here to read the full report or alternatively watch our video)
However one good point that came out of the report: More than four in ten Britons (41%) feel positive after a good night’s sleep, a third feel happy and almost a quarter (24%) feel productive.
Therefore isn’t it well worth making an investment in your sleep?
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, but a good night’s sleep is crucial to our health and wellbeing as eating a healthy diet or exercising regularly. But while we’re frequently exposed to government campaigns that encourage us to eat ‘Five a Day’, ‘Live Well’ or ‘Change4Life’, the nation’s sleeping habits are largely ignored. We want to see sleep moved up the political agenda and a public information campaign launched to encourage people to understand the importance of good sleep and how to achieve it.
What do you think to our report? Are you shocked by any of the statistics?
Happy Bed Month!