Current events might be giving you some sleepless nights at the moment but are you living in one of the UK’s most sleep-deprived cities?
New analysis has looked at 50 towns and cities in the UK to see where residents are spending their nights tossing and turning rather than getting a good eight hours of kip.
Supplement Place looked at the number of orders placed for sleep supplements and the number of sleep-related searches and assigned a “sleepy score” out of 10.
Google data on searches about ways to get a better night’s sleep included terms like “how to fall asleep fast”, “can’t sleep” and “insomnia”.
Topping the list was Bolton, which scored 7.77 and was followed by Bristol (7.49) and Leicester (5.88) in the top three. The full top 10 is below.
If you’re one of the thousands of people who struggle to drift off, experts have shared their top tips:
Go to bed and get up at the same time each day – Even if you’re struggling to sleep, getting into this routine helps to set your body clock and improve your sleep quality. Avoid sleeping in, even at the weekends, and try to limit napping during the day.
Limit your screen time – Exposure to light limits the amount of melatonin (the hormone which helps regulate your sleep) that your brain produces, so avoid bright screens in the hours before bedtime and make sure that the room is nice and dark before you go to bed.
Exercise – Those who maintain an active lifestyle generally get better sleep than those who don’t, as exercise helps us to spend more time in the deepest stages of sleep. Even light exercise can have positive effects.
Limit your food and drink intake before bed – Things such as caffeine, alcohol, sugar and refined carbs can all have an impact on your sleep, so try not to eat or drink too late in the evening. Smoking can also disrupt your sleep too.
If you manage to get to sleep at night OK but find yourself waking irritatingly early the next morning before your alarm, the advice is to stay in bed and read a book, listen to a podcast or music, meditate, or even just lie with your eyes closed will help you to relax and rest your body and mind.
It’s also a good idea to avoid looking at your phone or clock and it can cause anxiety and stress as you work out how much sleep you’ve missed out on. If possible, try to avoid them and leave an alarm in another room so if you manage to fall back asleep, you’ll still wake up on time.
A Supplement Place spokesman said: “Waking up too early and not being able to get back to sleep can be an incredibly frustrating issue which causes stress and deprives you of the sleep you need. There are several reasons why people may be waking up so early at the moment, but some of the main causes for waking up earlier than we’re supposed to are stress, depression and/or anxiety.
“This could explain why so many people are waking up so early during the last few months of the pandemic and in lockdown. Many of us have been experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety over the past few months, whether that be because we’re stressed about not being able to leave the house, missing or worrying about our loved ones, or feeling anxious about our future job and financial security, with the pandemic affecting thousands of people’s employment prospects.
“Stress and anxiety cause our bodies to go into states of arousal, with our heart rates increasing, body temperature rising, and minds racing. Stress also increases the production of the hormone cortisol, which makes us feel more alert and wary of threats, which is why it can feel hard to relax and get back to sleep after waking up early.”
Top 10 sleep-deprived UK cities
- Newcastle upon Tyne