Britons are increasingly turning to the bottle at bedtime.
That’s according to the results of our latest Great British Bedtime Report (first conducted in 2013) which puts the nation’s sleep under scrutiny for National Bed Month (March) and reveals how our bedtime habits are rolling downhill.
• The number has spiked 9% in just four years; now one in five people admit to drinking alcohol to help them nod off. The biggest drinkers are now generation X as 30% of those aged between 45 and 54 admit to having a beverage to help them sleep.
• More people are dependent on medication, meditation and music – but less dependent on their spouse. The number of Brits who don’t share a bed with their partner has increased from 8% to 12%.
• Far fewer people (26% in 2017 v 41% in 2013) say the last thing they do at night is read – traditionally regarded as a ‘sleep inducing’ activity.
• We’re also sleeping a lot less. Now, almost three quarters (74%) of Brits sleep less than seven hours per night; 12% of people sleep less than 5 compared to 7% in 2013. It’s led to almost a third of us (30%) getting a poor sleep most nights with the top three reasons being stress, partner disturbance and noise.
• However it seems the more you earn, the more you sleep – 71% of those who earn a household income between £80,000 and £100,000 sleep on average more than six hours per night. Whereas 50% of those who earn under £10,000 sleep less than six.
• More people are buying bigger beds. The number of respondents who bought a king sized bed has jumped from 20% in 2013 to 32% this year. 2017 figures show that sales of standard doubles still make up the bulk of sales (to 47% of those questioned) with most people (41%) paying between £200 and £599 for their current bed.
• Surprisingly, the number of people using technology in the bedroom would appear to have declined since 2013, although the number of people checking their social media last thing at night showed a small rise from 8 – 9%. Checking emails has dropped from 14% to 6%; watching television just before going to sleep is down from 38% to 30%; and using laptops/tablets is down from 12% to 8%. Of those questioned in 2017, a surprisingly modest 38% said they kept and used a smartphone in the bedroom.
• However more people are aware of the positive effects of a good night’s sleep.
We spend a third of our lives sleeping which is vital to our health and wellbeing – but almost half of Britons say stress is keeping them awake at night. Bedtime should be a place where you can switch off, forget about the busyness of the day and relax. We can all suffer from worry and anxieties from time to time, but if its creating unhealthy sleeping habits, people should take action and get the peaceful night’s sleep they deserve.