If you’re female, aged 45 to 54 and live in Wales then the chances are you’re among the UK’s worst sleepers.
That’s according to new data released by The Sleep Charity, which provides a candid insight into Brits’ relationship with sleep in 2021.
The data has been recorded from an online survey of 2,000 people conducted by OnePoll and delivered in partnership with Furniture Village, who the Charity recently teamed up to launch the UK’s first dedicated helpline for people who struggle to sleep.
Participants in the study were asked how many nights each month they experience a bad nights’ sleep, and top of the list by region was Wales, with 39 per cent of people saying they typically experience 12 or more bad nights’ sleep every month.
That’s more than double the number recorded in the East Midlands, which is home to the UK’s most consistent sound sleepers, where just 19 per cent reported the same issue.
Behind Wales, regions across the south of England occupy the remainder of the top five in the bad sleep stakes, while just 26 per cent of Scots and 22 per cent of Northern Irish residents say they experience 12 or more bad nights’ sleep a month, confirming them as sounder sleepers than the majority of the rest of the UK.
|Region||Per cent experiencing 12+ bad nights’ sleep a month|
|1||Wales||39 per cent|
|2||East Anglia||37 per cent|
|3||West Midlands||36 per cent|
|4||London||32 per cent|
|5||South East||31 per cent|
|=6||North East||30 per cent|
|=6||North West||30 per cent|
|=6||Yorkshire & The Humber||30 per cent|
|9||South West||29 per cent|
|10||Scotland||26 per cent|
|11||Northern Ireland||22 per cent|
|12||East Midlands||19 per cent|
The data also reveals that women are 5 per cent more likely to experience poor sleep than men, with 33 per cent of female respondents experiencing 12 or more disrupted nights a month, compared to 28 per cent of men.
|Gender||Per cent experiencing 12+ bad nights’ sleep a month|
|1||Female||33 per cent|
|2||Male||28 per cent|
Age also appears to be a key factor in sleep, with older people generally experiencing problems nodding off more often than their younger counterparts.
More than a third (34 per cent) of 45-54-year-olds experience 12 or more bad nights’ sleep a month, closely followed by those of retirement age at 65 and older (33 per cent) followed by 33-54-year-olds (32 per cent).
The soundest sleepers are those aged 25-34 years old, with less than a quarter (24 per cent) reporting consistent issues with sleep.
|Age group||Per cent experiencing 12+ bad nights’ sleep a month|
|1||45-54||34 per cent|
|2||65+||33 per cent|
|3||35-54||32 per cent|
|4||55-64||30 per cent|
|5||18-24||28 per cent|
|6||25-34||24 per cent|
Top of the list of symptoms reported by respondents who’ve experienced a bad nights’ sleep is a lack of motivation (49 per cent), followed by sore eyes (30 per cent), a reduced desire to see people (30 per cent) and aching joints (29 per cent).
28 per cent say they have felt less motivated to exercise, while nearly a quarter (24 per cent) have reported weight gain due to a lack of sleep.
|Symptom||Per cent experiencing it|
|1||Lack of motivation||49 per cent|
|2||Sore eyes||30 per cent|
|3||Reduced desire to see people||29 per cent|
|4||Aching joints||29 per cent|
|5||Reduced desire to exercise||28 per cent|
|=6||Mental health issues||28 per cent|
|=6||Eye strain||24 per cent|
|8||Weight gain||24 per cent|
|9||Reduced sex drive||22 per cent|
|10||Lack of appetite||21 per cent|
|11||Weight loss||17 per cent|
|12||Bad skin||14 per cent|
|13||Vomiting||9 per cent|
The Sleep Charity is the national charity empowering the nation to sleep better.
Sleep Charity deputy CEO Lisa Artis said: “This illuminating, fascinating data helps to paint an accurate and up-to-date picture of our nations’ evolving relationship with sleep.
“It is particularly interesting to note the differences between age, location and gender where sleep is concerned, and though there are other factors at play, such as family, career and overall health, the data serves as an invaluable resource to help inform our own strategic planning.
“The Sleep Charity exists to help the nation sleep better and we’re working harder than ever, with more partners than ever, to ensure our services and support are available to anybody who needs them.”
The National Sleep Helpline is operated by specialist, trained advisors between 7pm and 9pm five days a week, Sunday to Thursday.
The helpline number is 03303 530 541. Calls are charged at your standard network rate.
Further information – www.thesleepcharity.org.uk/help-is-just-a-phone-call-away