Here at Bensons for Beds, we’re passionate about sleep. Getting the right amount of Zzz’s each night is vital for leading a healthy, happy life – and sleep itself is right up there with food and water for keeping us alive. That’s why we’re always conducting new research to help us better understand the sleeping habits of the nation. In our recent study we’ve discovered that, while the average Brit would like to get seven hours of quality shuteye per night, we’re only getting five hours and 48 minutes.
According to our nationwide Sleep Wellness study, just over a quarter of Brits regularly survive on just 4 hours per night, while a further 24% admit to getting by on as little as three hours. But this lack of sleep is having an unsurprisingly detrimental effect on the nation, with 49% of Brits saying that their lack of sleep is affecting their everyday life and is making them moody and distracted on a regular basis.
What is negatively affected by our lack of sleep?
Here are just some of the ways lack of sleep is affecting the nation:
Performance at work. 34% of Brits say that lack of sleep causes them to perform poorly at work.
Parenting skills. 21% of Brits say they lack confidence in their parenting skills when they’re tired, and have been known to fly off the handle with their children when they’ve had a poor night’s sleep.
15% of Brits admit to putting things off in their lives and cancelling plans on a regular basis when they’re not getting enough sleep.
Lack of exercise. 18% of Brits admit to cancelling plans to exercise when they’re feeling tired. 19% of women have admitted to skipping the gym due to lack of sleep the night before.
16% of Brits have said that lack of sleep has affected their relationship with their partner, leading to more arguments.
Weight gain. One in ten Brits have piled on the pounds due to lack of sleep, with those in Oxford (23%) more likely to put on weight when they’re tired.
Here’s what our resident sleep expert Stephanie Romiskewski had to say:
“It is really easy to blame a poor night’s sleep for our worries and issues, but the reality is a poor night’s sleep can be caused by these worries! It’s a vicious cycle. We can take back control of our health by maintaining consistent healthy behaviours such as getting out and moving, meeting friends, eating well and sticking to a consistent opportunity to recover and sleep”.
Trying to commit to a certain amount of sleep, even when you’re not feeling tired, can cause more harm than good. It could even lead to sleep anxiety, which can be a contributing factor to insomnia.
“Being sleepy at the right times is actually good and healthy for you. You wouldn’t be able to sleep if you weren’t tired, and the cause of poor-quality sleep commonly comes down to worrying about the number of hours of sleep you get.
Worrying about how much sleep you’re going to get is a leading cause of anxiety. It’s important to remember that having the occasional bad night’s sleep is perfectly normal, and your body will recover.
We chatted with lead psychologist of the Psychological Society, Dr Simon Moore:
“Our bodies are not designed to deal with modern day stress. We are in a constant state of psychological fight or flight, leading to our batteries running dangerously low. If you have slept badly, remember that you do have control over the way you feel. We can still get up and move after a bad night, meet a friend and eat well. If you do these positive things you can turn your day back around. Take some control and be kind to yourself.”
How can I tell the difference between sleepiness and fatigue?
Being sleepy is actually good for you, so it’s important to know the difference between feeling a bit tired and actually suffering from fatigue. Our sleep expert, Stephanie, says we should ask ourselves if we are able to nod off right now. If the answer is no, but you still feel symptoms of tiredness, it could be a sign of fatigue.
Here are some other common symptoms of fatigue:
- Feeling like you have a ‘brain fog’
- Feeling like you need to rest all the time
- Changing your behaviours to compensate for this ‘tiredness’, i.e. cancelling social plans living off unhealthy but easy-to-cook ready meals
When is it time to seek help?
Sleep deprivation is on the rise in the UK, with 10% of the people we spoke to in our study admitting to having survived on just one hour of sleep at some point in their lives. However, the nation is not seeking medical help due to the public stigma associated with the issue.
Dr Simon Moore says:
“The stigma attached to feeling fatigued, which is perception that we are not in control and cannot handle our stress, prevents people from seeking help. Whilst participants found that feeling sleepy is a positive and natural order for our body, there is a lack of understanding around what fatigue is, which if left untreated can stop people from living full lives, as they do not know how to overcome it.”
How can SleepPRO help?
Here at Bensons for Beds, we believe that achieving sleep wellness is so much more than having just seven hours sleep per night. We’re passionate about helping each and every one of our customers have the best sleep they possibly can with our SleepPRO range, so pop into your local Bensons for Beds store and we’ll create your personalised sleep profile. This will help us analyse your needs and find the best mattress for you as an individual.
How to reduce your chances of a bad night’s sleep
Here are some tips for having a better sleep cycle:
- Avoid going to bed when you’re not tired
- Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same times each day. Regulating your sleep pattern this way can have positive impacts on your physical and mental health, which in turn helps you to sleep more soundly
- Try and have better quality ‘awake time during the day. This could mean going out and spending time with friends or family, getting more exercise or even just getting stuck into a good book.
- Try not to continuously change your sleeping behaviours to get quicker results – our bodies need consistency
For more sleep tips and news, keep your eyes on the Bensons for Beds Sleep Hub. Alternatively, browse our extensive range of bedding and mattresses to help you get that all-important good night’s rest.
You can read more about our Sleep Wellness survey results here.