Sleep Statistics UK

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Most UK residents know that it is recommended to get roughly 8 hours of quality sleep every night. But unfortunately, it’s never as simple as falling asleep at 10pm and waking up at 6 or 7am, without any interruptions. 

Lack of sleep is a big problem in the UK, in fact research has found that 1 in 3 UK people suffer from insomnia and 200,000 working days are lost in the UK every year due to insufficient sleep. And those 200,000 working days alone are costing the UK economy £30 billion every single year

Worst of all, many UK residents believe they are getting the right amount of sleep when they may be significantly deprived due to staying up late or waking up during the night, but not realising it.

So how bad really is the UK’s poor sleep situation?

Top 10 Sleep Statistics UK

  • Average UK adult gets just 6 hours 20 minutes of sleep, whilst the recommended number of hours is 8 per night.
  • It’s estimated 20.6 million or 1 in 3 in the UK suffer from insomnia and sleep deprivation. That’s 31% of the entire UK population struggling to sleep.
  • Only 6% or 4 million UK residents sleep for the recommended 8 hours.
  • 60% of brits aren’t content with their sleep and report poor sleep quality.
  • One in four people in the UK report stress as the main factor of losing sleep.
  • Post COVID, 1 in 3 UK residents (33%) have been sleeping less than before while 1 in 5 (20%) have been sleeping more than usual.
  • Average adult women in the UK sleep for 6.36 hours – 8 mins more than the men (6.28 hours).
  • 16% of vehicle accidents in the UK are sleep-related.
  • Insufficient sleep is costing the UK economy a whooping £30 billion and 200,000 lost working days every year.
  • In order to aid sleep, one in eight (13%) UK residents admitted to taking sleeping tablets or drinking alcohol.

Sleep Deprivation & Insomnia Statistics UK

In this section, you will find general statistics and facts on sleep and what the UK’s sleep routine and habits look like.

1. 30% of the global population have Insomnia.

Insomnia is something that many people struggle with, in fact a third (30%) of the global population admitted they have suffered from insomnia during their lifetime.

2. 31% of the UK suffer from Insomnia.

When looking deeper into insomnia sleep statistics, the UK is close to the global average where 31% or 20.6 million people in the UK admitted that they have insomnia. 

3. Two thirds (62%) of adults globally have poor sleep quality.

It’s not just the UK that is suffering from lack of quality sleep. According to sleep statistics from weforum, two thirds (62%) of adults worldwide admitted they have poor sleep quality.

4. Half (50%) of sleep apnea diagnosis is in people aged 40 and older.

Data has found that the older you get, the more likely you are to suffer from sleep disorders, with over 50% of diagnosed sleep apnea cases reported in people over 40 years old.

5. The UK’s is not alone. 70 million Americans also suffer from one or several sleep disorders.

But it’s not just the UK that is struggling with sleep. As many as 70 million people in the US suffer from one or more sleep disorder.

6. Only 16% of the UK think they are sleeping enough.

It may be shocking to hear that as little as 16% of the UK think they are getting the right amount of sleep every night. To put this into perspective, less than 1 in 5 think they are getting the right amount of sleep, equivalent to 10.7 million people from the UK.

7. A third of the UK regularly complain about sleep.

In the UK, one in three people report regular sleep complaints. That’s equivalent to 22 million British people regularly complaining of a bad night’s sleep.

8. Almost two-thirds of the UK struggle to fall asleep.

What’s more, across the UK alone, 60% of the UK struggle with getting to sleep, meaning over half of the UK regularly find it hard to fall asleep.

9. Taking longer than 5 minutes to fall asleep is a sign of sleep deprivation.

For those that struggle to fall asleep quickly, it may be a sign of sleep deprivation. In fact, if it takes you less than 5 minutes to fall asleep, it’s a sign you are sleep deprived, so be sure to monitor your sleep habits and see a doctor if you are struggling regularly to drift off to sleep. 

Average Sleep Time UK

10. The average person in the UK sleeps for 6 hrs 20 mins

Further research into the UK’s sleep habits found that the average Brit spends 6.2 hours asleep during the night. As mentioned before, this is less than the recommended average of 8 hours. 

11. It is recommended that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Across the UK and all around the world, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. So for those getting less than this, it may be worth switching up your daily routine to factor in more sleep time.

12. Only 6% of the UK are getting 8 hours of sleep every night.

A sleep survey found that as little as 6% of UK residents achieve the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night, that’s less than 1 in 10 people getting the right amount of sleep. 

13. Average sleep by age group:

Age-wise average sleep hours in the UK:

  • 18 to 24 years  – 6.52 hrs
  • 25 to 34 years 6.26 hrs
  • 35 to 44 years 6.22 hrs
  • 45 to 54 years 6.30 hrs
  • 55+ years- 6.34 hrs

30.71% of brits between 18 to 24 years get the required 8hrs sleep while only 20.71% of people in the 35 to 44 age bracket get the full sleep.

14. The most popular bedtime for people from the UK is between 10-11 pm.

According to sleep statistics by Sleep Council, the majority of Brits go to bed around 10-11 pm every night and fall asleep shortly after this.

15. Sleep quality decreases with age, with sleep quality at its prime for Brits aged 21-30 years.

As per a 2018 report, sleep quality is at its prime among brits 21 to 30 years old. People in this age bracket scored their sleep at 5.7/10. For those under 20, the score for sleep quality was 5.5 out of 10.

16. Those aged 60 and over have the worst sleep quality.

Sleep quality in those over the age of 60 was scored at 4.4 out of 10! Those aged between 51-60 scored their sleep at 4.6 out of 10 and those between the age of 41-50 gave their sleep a score of 4.9 out of 10.  People aged between 31-40 are getting a better quality of sleep with people within this age bracket scoring their sleep 5.4 out of 10.

17. 18-29-year-olds get the most sleep every night.

Brits aged 18-29 are getting the most sleep each night with over half (51%) of this age group enjoying more than eight hours of sleep on average. This contrasts with the over 60s where only 43% hit the eight-hour mark. The +60 age group also has the highest percentage (9%) who sleep for fewer than 6 hours. What’s more, it is actually those in the 55-59 age bracket who sleep the least. This age group averages 7.5 hours of sleep whilst 60% sleep for fewer than eight hours – an increase of 11% compared to the 18-29 group.

18. On average, we spend one-third of our lives asleep.

According to sleep statistics from the Cleveland Clinic, the average person spends one-third of their life on earth sleeping, which seems very little considering we are required to sleep almost as many hours as we work for during a normal working day. 

Reasons for lack of sleep

19. Humans are the only mammals to delay sleep.

When it comes to lack of sleep, there are several reasons that can cause you to not sleep. One of these is the fact that we, as humans, like to delay sleep. In fact, humans are the only mammals to delay sleep

20. Stress is the main factor for losing sleep according to 25% of the UK.

A recent study found a shocking sleep statistic that 1 in 4 (25%) British people said that stress was the main contributing factor for losing sleep.

21. Snoring is the number one cause of sleep disruption.

Many people, particularly light sleepers, will know how annoying it can be when you’re drifting off to sleep but suddenly hear loud snoring from your partner. In fact, a study found that snoring is the number one cause of sleep disruption!

22. 40% of adult males snore

Snoring could be keeping you up, with 40% of adult males said to snore compared to just 24% of adult females, it is no surprise that many people are losing sleep from their partner snoring and keeping them awake.

23. 1 in 10 people from the UK check their work emails whilst in bed

A UK sleep statistics study found that one in ten Brits check or reply to work emails whilst in bed. Further to this, one-fifth complete admin tasks and more than one in 20 will finish other job-related duties when in bed. These types of tasks will ultimately lead to delayed sleep and result in a lack of sleep.

24. People who don’t sleep enough have an increased appetite

It’s not just stress and snoring that can keep you awake at night. Sleep statistics from the Sleep Foundation found that those who are sleep deprived can have an increased appetite. Therefore if you’re hungry, you may not be getting that much needed shut-eye. 

Conclusion

If you’re someone who values your sleep but isn’t getting enough of it, there are small lifestyle changes you can make that will see you benefit from a longer, and better night’s sleep. 

Avoid using technology at least one hour before you go to sleep, research shows that using technology such as your phone or tablet before bed can make you feel less tired and result in you missing out on that much-needed shut-eye. What’s more, practising meditation can make you feel more relaxed and help you to drift off to sleep quicker. 

We hope that these UK sleep statistics for 2021 will highlight some of the shocking trends within British sleep habits and encourage you to focus more attention on getting a good quality night’s sleep.

Sources

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