The country that never sleeps

As the clocks go forward this weekend, new research shows the average UK adult only gets 6 hours and 22 minutes sleep a night, less than the average New Yorker

We all want to get more sleep, especially as we’re set to lose a precious hour this weekend. New research released today shows we’re already not getting enough, with the average UK adult clocking up just 6 hours and 22 minutes per night, that’s 5% (9 minutes) less than New Yorkers who famously never sleep.

The research by Pukka Herbs shows that, on average, UK adults are under-sleeping by over an hour every night, the equivalent of a whole night’s sleep over the course of a week.

Brighton is the UK’s worst sleeping city, getting half an hour less than the average New Yorker per night. Brighton was closely followed by Plymouth (6 hours and 9 minutes), closely followed by Cardiff (6 hours and 12 minutes) and Birmingham (6 hours and 14 minutes). 

Of those surveyed, the most common factors that keep them awake are either stress such as monetary or marital, or anxiety (42%) and over a fifth (21%) complained it was pain keeping them up at night.

Yet, the ‘home-fixes’ we develop in a desperate attempt to get to sleep aren’t helping, with techniques such as having an alcoholic drink (22%) or having sex (37%) just a couple of tried and tested methods failing the sleep test.

Not only that, almost 1 in 10 UK adults are consuming coffee (9%), nicotine (11%) or a sweet treat (8%), in the hour before bed which actually stimulates our brains and keep us awake at night.

Of those taking sleeping tablets, over a quarter (27%) said they woke up feeling groggy or sluggish the night after taking a pharmaceutical medication such as a sleeping tablet.

To help solve the problem, natural remedies and herbal supplements are on the rise with nearly half (47%) of the public either trying them or considering trying them to get 40 winks.

Interestingly, a third of UK adults (33%) also wish their pharmacist or doctor could recommend natural medicines as well as mainstream medicines for scenarios such as these where they feel like nothing is quite working.

With the majority of UK adults attributing a lack of sleep to stress and anxiety, natural remedies can actually help to tackle the cause behind our sleep concerns. Stress, for example, causes a surge of adrenaline and the hormone cortisol which increase alertness - far from ideal if you’re desperate for some shut eye! Herbs such as ashwagandha help to solve this problem by regulating imbalanced cortisol levels.