Consumer Advice

Great British Bedtime Report reveals sleeping patterns of nation

Thu.28.Feb.2013 GMT

The report reveals well over a third of Britons are getting just five to six hours sleep a night or less, a dramatic rise in the past 3 years, with 40% are not getting the NHS recommended 6-9 hours a night.

The Great British Bedtime Report, a comprehensive report which is a first of its kind and commissioned by the Sleep Council as part of an information campaign to encourage people to understand the importance of a good night’s sleep, looks into the habits and sleeping patterns of the nation.

Although current NHS guidelines indicate that we don’t necessarily need the commonly cited 8 hours of sleep per night, experts believe that most adults require somewhere between 6 - 9 hours in order to function well both mentally and physically. So it’s a concerning trend that 33% of the population are getting by on only 5 - 6 hours sleep a night – a significant rise from 2010 where 27% of people got by on 5 - 6 hours. 

One trend highlighted in the report, released to mark the start of National Bed Month, is the prevalence of using alcohol or medication to help get a better night’s sleep. 14% of all respondents admitted to self-medicating by using over the counter sleep remedies and 17% using other medication whilst 16% claimed they consumed alcohol as a means of helping them get a better night’s sleep.

The rise of technology in the bedroom is also addressed in the report, released to mark the start of National Bed Month, with an alarming number of Brits guilty of poor ‘sleep hygiene’ in this regard. 38% admit to watching TV before going to bed, 14% to checking their emails and 12% using their laptop/tablet before going to bed. All of these electrical devices emit bright light which can disrupt the production of the body’s natural sleep hormones.

Watch our video with Jessica Alexander, from the Sleep Council, for more information about the findings.

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