By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 06:42, 28 November 2019
A good night’s sleep can do wonders for our physical and mental health, but new research has found that nearly three-quarters of Brits aren’t getting enough.
The study, conducted by bed and mattress specialists Bed SOS, found that 74% of people get less than eight hours of sleep a night, which is the suggested healthy amount for adults.
Worryingly, one in ten (10%) Brits get four or fewer hours of sleep a night, which the NHS warns makes people more susceptible to conditions like diabetes. Sleep deprivation can also lead to weight gain, a weaker immune system and an increased risk of heart disease.
Across the UK, over half (53%) admit that they probably don’t get enough shut-eye, with a fifth (20%) feeling tired or exhausted throughout the day. Women are less likely than men to feel satisfied with their sleep (44% vs 51%) and generally feel less refreshed when they wake up on a morning (11% vs 18%).
Marketing professionals are the most likely to get the suggested quantity, with just two in five (40%) not getting enough sleep. In contrast, teachers are among the most sleep-deprived, with more than four in five (83%) averaging less than eight hours a night.
Some cities also suffer more than others, with the people of Norwich the least likely to get the recommended amount of sleep. A staggering 87% of its residents don’t get eight hours a night, with Nottingham and Newcastle close behind (both 83%). On the other hand, those in Belfast (59%) and Bristol (60%) are the best sleepers in the UK.
The top five most sleep-deprived cities, where people are the least likely to get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, are:
1) Norwich – 87%
2) Nottingham – 83%
3) Newcastle – 83%
4) Liverpool – 80%
5) Southampton – 79%
With sleep deprivation known to affect concentration and focus, it’s not surprising that so many Brits admit to doing bizarre things while feeling dozy. Bed SOS searched for the strangest tales of sleepy activity and here are some of the highlights:
Lakey, for example, once awkwardly mistook her husband for her baby in a state of exhaustion: “I grabbed my husband’s head and pulled it to my chest in an attempt to breastfeed him in the middle of the night… I had heard our baby fuss from his crib and got confused. Scared the crap out of my husband!”
Bethan Cook, meanwhile, was exhausted and got confused about the location of her toilet, much to the distress of her mum and dad: “I went into my parents’ bedroom half asleep, pulled down my pyjamas and almost peed on their bed — thinking I was in the bathroom! Had to be escorted to the toilet by my mum and taken back to bed. I only found out about this the morning after!”
And finally, a tired Joanne Bennett once put her laundry through an unusual cleaning process: “I have two young kids, two businesses to run and a husband who works away for six months at a time. I once emptied the washing machine and put all of the clothes in the fridge. As I closed the door and walked away, I looked at the empty basket and realised what I’d done!”
Danny Richmond, Managing Director of Bed SOS, said: “The importance of having a good night’s sleep is well publicised, yet so many Brits are still not getting enough hours. This can have serious effects on health, but can also make us behave a little unusually, as people admitted to us in our research!
“If you’re worried that you’re not getting enough sleep, there are a few things you can do to help you drift off. Ensure your bedroom is a relaxing environment, free from distractions and excess light, and begin to wind down on an evening a few hours before heading to bed.”
To see the full list of bizarre sleep deprivation stories, visit: https://www.bedsos.co.uk/blog/2019/11/struggling-sleepers-10-of-the-funniest-sleep-deprived-fails/