28% of Brits wake up more than three times a night, 15% of us have the ‘Thatcher gene’, sleeping for less than 5 hours nightly, and 1 in 100 NEVER change their sheets
Constantly checking emails, watching TV before bed and noisy neighbours are some of the unnatural components of our sleep routines that are causing havoc with our sleeping patterns. The rise in technology and making ourselves available 24/7 means more than a quarter (28%) of Brits wake up more than three times every night, and 24% of us take over half an hour to get to sleep, due to problems like anxiety (13%) and noise (18.9%). Organic mattress company Naturalmat, who commissioned the survey, has dug deeper to find the reasons for our sleepless nights and create the formula for the truly natural, restful night’s sleep that Brits are looking for.
The research, exploring sleeping patterns across the UK, also found that:
- 15% of people admit that their smart phone or tablet is the last thing they look at before they fall asleep. Research shows that those that do use their smart phone before sleep, take over an hour (75 minutes) longer on average to get to sleep than those that don’t
- 45% of Brits rely on tea or coffee to get them through the day, with 8.8% drinking more than six cups over the course of the working day – resulting in 2 hours less sleep every night
- Reading before bed will help you get to sleep half an hour quicker than watching TV
- The main reason for waking up in the night is for a toilet break (61%), but other contributors include snoring partners (14%), the wrong temperature (18%) and pain or discomfort (18%)
BIRMINGHAM TOPS LIST FOR NOISY STREETS The research revealed that over a quarter (25.2%) of those in Birmingham has their slumber regularly disturbed by street noise – the highest percentage in the UK.
BRISTOL TOPS LIST FOR WORRYING AT NIGHT Bristol topped the list for night time worriers: almost a quarter of respondents (23.3%) cited ‘feeling anxious or worried’ as reasons for waking up in the middle of the night.
CARDIFF HAS THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE BEDS The results in Cardiff show that almost a quarter (23.9%) of people struggle with their sleep because of street noise, one of the highest percentages in the UK. 32.6% are sleeping on beds so uncomfortable it wakes them up on a regular basis, which is higher than all of the other cities surveyed.
NIGHTMARES IN NEWCASTLE New Research shows that Newcastle is plagued by nightmares more than anywhere else in the UK. Research shows that Newcastle suffers from bad dreams more than anywhere else in the UK (18.2%)
PLYMOUTH TOPS LIST FOR MOST RESTLESS SLEEPERS The research revealed that although Plymouth tops the list for people falling to sleep as soon as their head hits the pillow (16.7%), they are also top of the table for restlessness- a whopping 20.9% of respondents stated that they wake up 4 times or more in the night.
SURFING AND SNORING RUINS SCOTLAND’S SLUMBER: The research revealed that Edinburgh was particularly affected by snoring partners – the city topped the list with a high proportion of respondents complaining that this played havoc with sleeping patterns (23.9%). Glasgow also topped the list but when it came to not being able to switch off from social media – almost a quarter of people (21.6%) cited checking their mobile phone or tablet as the last thing they do before they go to sleep, which contributes to sleeping problems.
SHEFFIELD TOPS LIST FOR DIRTY SHEETS 5.5% of Sheffield residents admitted they never changed their sheets – the highest percentage in the UK.
Based on the findings Naturalmat has created the definitive formula to ensure that you get a truly natural night’s sleep.
Regular bedtime routine +clean sheets + good quality breathable mattress +adequate bedding for the time of year +a good book -blue screens such as mobiles and tablets -caffeinated drinks before bed = over 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep
The bedroom should be reserved for sleep only
Says Naturalmat sleep expert Christabel Majendie.
Working, eating, talking on the phone and using the computer or mobile phones are daytime activities, which will weaken your associations with the bedroom and sleep and cause you to have a more disturbed night
Investing in a mattress that is made from organic breathable fibre such as lambswool, cashmere and mohair is one way that you can regulate temperature so you don’t get too hot or too cold in the night. Natural fibres are better at regulating body temperature, keeping sleepers warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Christabel’s top tips for getting a natural night’s sleep:
- Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bed. Switch to a decaffeinated tea, such as camomile or a warm, milky drink. If you are dependent on caffeine in the day to keep you alert and awake, consider going to bed earlier each night instead or address the factors that may be impacting on your sleep quality.
- Exercise can improve the quality of your sleep but avoid vigorous exercise 4 hours before bed otherwise you may find it difficult to sleep
- Stick to a bedtime routine in the hour before bed and stop all work or tasks. Your routine could include taking a bath, making a warm, decaffeinated drink and maybe a snack if you have eaten early in the evening, reading, listening to some relaxing music or practicing some relaxation techniques.
- Chose a good quality mattress and pillows that suit your personal taste to minimise any pain or discomfort. A mattress made with organic fibres will be a far more comfortable experience and regulate your temperature, as well as naturally repelling beasties such as bed bugs.
- Keep the bedroom a natural environment free from TV screens, computer screens, and phones. If your wind-down usually involves watching TV, try switching your favourite soap for a good book. Our research has shown us that those that read a book get to sleep 30 minutes quicker than others.
- Change your sheets no less than once every two weeks, better still once a week. This will minimize odours and dust mites, which can cause problems for people with allergies and asthma. In addition, clean sheets provide a more welcoming and comfortable environment, making you relaxed and therefore, in a better position to sleep.
Naturalmat, is the UK’s first producer of hand-made natural fibre mattresses with organic fillings. All Naturalmat mattresses are made using organic materials unique to the brand, including natural latex tapped from rubber trees, recycled denim, and coir, a natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconut. When combined with soft, organic materials like lambswool from local sheep, cashmere and mohair, Naturalmat mattresses offer a breathable, luxuriously comfortable sleeping experience.