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Press releases

TWO MILLION BRITS NOW SLEEP WALK DUE TO STRESS

14th Feb 2006


One in ten (1) UK adults are regular sleepwalkers according to a new study*.

Nearly half (46%) (2) of those that sleep walk believe their night time trips are down to stress. Alcohol (11%), sleeping in an unfamiliar bed (9%), cheese (7%) and caffeine (3%) were also named as influential factors but stress due to work pressures and demanding lifestyles is regarded as the primary cause.

Just under a third of British sleepwalkers (3) will simply wander around their bedroom before climbing back into bed. However, many Brits - especially the 37% that sleep naked - get up to far more daring and potentially dangerous night time manoeuvres.
- 16 per cent will wander into other bedrooms (4)
- 15 per cent will get stuck in a bathroom (5)
- 23 per cent will go all the way down stairs and into a ground floor room (6)
- Nearly 200,000 sleepwalkers will use their keys to unlock a door or window and leave the house altogether (7)

Travelodge commissioned the study to explore Brits sleep walking experiences following staff reports of an increase in the number of guests found sleep-walking in hotels. In the last year, one hotel in Peterborough reported three separate incidents of guests visiting reception while asleep and naked. Todays research revealed 1.67 million adults have sleep walked when staying in a hotel.

Just over 1.2 million (8) Brits admit to sleepwalking between once and twice a month with half a million doing it several times a week (9). 26,000 adults will go on a nocturnal wander every night (10).

Chris Idzikowski, Director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said; "These figures arent a surprise. Sleepwalking is a serious disorder that can develop due to a stressful lifestyle, sleep deprivation, alcohol abuse or even snoring. Sleep walking is most likely within an hour or two of going to bed, when first slipping into a deep sleep. Part of the brain switches into auto pilot and can manage well-learned movements such as walking, bending or sitting despite other parts being in a deep sleep. Sleepwalkers will awake quite unable to recall any of their actions and this can also be quite distressing."

Wayne Munnelly, Travelodge Director of Sleep said; "We want to make sure our customers have the best night's sleep possible and that includes being able to handle more unusual situations such as sleep walkers. The biggest reason for sleep walking is said to be stress and that can increase if you are away on business and working hard between meetings so we must ensure staff know what to do should the situation arise."

To ensure its' hotel staff are well prepared for midnight moochers, Travelodge is issuing guidelines** to hotel employees on how to handle a sleep walker, addressing the big question of should you wake a sleepwalker?

Last year, 21 per cent of sleepwalkers injured themselves when sleepwalking (12). Over 300,000 men and women who sleepwalk were left with bruises (13) and an incredible 9,000 adults were left with broken bones (14).

TOP SLEEPWALKING REGIONS
1. Northern Ireland (23%)
2. Wales (14%)
3. West Midlands (13%)
4. North West (12%)
5. South East (12%)
6. South West (10%)
7. Yorkshire & Humber (9%)
8. East Anglia (7%)
9. East Midlands (7%)
10. London (6.5%)


** TOP TIPS FOR SLEEP WALKERS
- With over a third of the nation (37%) claiming not to wear nightclothes in bed, wearing something to protect your modesty is advisable
- Get plenty of rest if possible - being overtired can trigger sleepwalking
- Remove anything from the room that could be harmful

** Advice for hotel staff and those with partners that sleep walk is as follows:
- It's a misconception that sleep walkers shouldnt be woken up. Its not dangerous, it will just disorientate the sleep walker for a short period
- Sleepwalkers should be accommodated on the ground floor, thereby avoiding stairs. Travelodge windows have restricted opening space but ground floor rooms are preferable for the sleep walker

For more information, please contact:
Jo Begbie
Travelodge PR Manager
0121 521 6624 / 07841 725 053
jo.begbie@travelodge.co.uk

* Travelodge research conducted by 72 point in January 2006 among 2800 UK adults.

Dr Chris Idzikowski, BSc PhD CPsychol FBPsS, is the Edinburgh Sleep Centre Director. More information on the Edinburgh Sleep Centre can be found here: www.edinburghsleepcentre.com

As the first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985, Travelodge currently has approximately 291 hotels across the UK in city centres, near attractions and airports.

Travelodge has three simple price bands: Supersaver (10 room - available online), Saver (26 room - available online) and Flexible (available online or by calling the Reservation Centre on 08700 850 950).

Statistics based on number of UK residents over 16 yrs 46,613,000 (according to ONS)
(1) Statistic is 9.5% of UK adult population - 4,428,235 UK adults
(2) Statistic is 46% of those that sleepwalk - 2,036,988 adults
(3) 31% of those that sleepwalk - actual number is 1,372,752 adults
(4) 16% of those that sleepwalk - actual number is 708,517 adults
(5) 15% of those that sleepwalk - actual number is 664235 adults
(6) 23% of those that sleepwalk - actual number is 1,01,494 adults
(7) 0.5% of number of adult sleepwalkers
(8) 27.5 % of sleep walkers - actual number is 1,217,764 adults
(9) 12% of sleep walkers - actual number is 531, 388
(10) Just under 1% of adult sleep walkers do it every night
(11) 3.6% of adult population have sleep walked when staying in a hotel = 1,678,068
(12) 916,186 Brits have been injured when sleepwalking (20.6%)
(13) 336, 558 Brits have been bruised when sleepwalking (37%)
(14) 9348 Brits have broken a bone when sleepwalking (1%)

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