Have you been struggling to sleep recently?
If so, you aren’t alone.
Lockdown has disrupted sleep patterns, causing many people restless nights and disturbed sleep. As such, we weren’t all that surprised to see some new data published by Premier Inn, finding that more and more people are encountering sleep issues. The hotel chain has found that people in the UK type into Google ‘I can’t sleep’ over 6,000 times a month and similarly asks the search platform ‘How to sleep better’ over 5,000 times a month.
This new research from Premier Inn studied British people’s sleeping search trends and online queries to reveal where in the UK sleeps best, and likewise which region has the least trouble nodding off. We’ll let you take a look at the study here, but it seems that if you’re in York, then you’re in luck as they seem to sleep the best, whilst those in Bristol and Manchester are having the most trouble dropping off.
But is sleep really all that it’s cracked up to be? And how much do we all need to be healthy? Here we take a look at the science of sleep in a little more detail…
In short, sleep is an absolutely vital function. It allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. So, if you’re struggling to wake in the morning and have to reach for a coffee daily, then the likelihood is that you may need more – or indeed – a better quality sleep. Without sleep, your brain cannot function properly.
In fact, lack of sleep has been shown to reduce performance and cognitive functioning, increase blood pressure and the production of stress hormones, cause weight gain and increase the risk of many diseases too. In addition to this, a lack of sleep has also been found to increase the risk of accidents and road related deaths and increase mental health conditions too.
Most adults need around eight hours of good quality sleep per night. Yet it’s thought that around three quarters of British adults don’t get nearly enough sleep with many sleeping less than seven hours sleep a night.
In our opinion, the first step in getting a better night’s sleep is to start making sleep a priority. Ultimately it is not a just commodity that we can merely trade for something more exciting. Neither is it a luxury or something that it would be nice to have more of. Rather, it is an essential and fundamental function that all humans need.
So, switch off that Netflix series, put down the laptop, stop strolling your social feeds and dedicate some more time to one of life’s most important priorities; sleep.
Here is our eight-point checklist to help you sleep better
When it comes to sleeping, or lack of it, don’t suffer in silence. Not getting enough sleep can be really hard, not to mention incredibly stressful. Try to speak to someone about it or, if restless nights are becoming a regular occurrence, get in touch with your GP. This will rule out the risk of other health conditions preventing you from sleeping too.