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Press releases


17th Dec 2012

45% of Britons will lose 21 hours of sleep this week in the lead-up to Christmas Day

42% of women will be having nightmares of being attacked by a gigantic turkey, passionately kissing Santa and turning into a Christmas pudding

33% of men think they can do a better job of hosting Christmas Day than their partner

Don’t expect to be bright eyed and busy tailed on Christmas Day as a new sleep study has revealed that this week is the worst week for sleep deprivation in Britain. On average Britons will lose 21 hours of shut eye this week.

Nearly half of Britons (45%) will survive on a mere daily ration of five hours of sleep over the next seven days due to worrying if their presents will arrive on time, partying hard, staying up late to wrap presents and getting organised for Christmas Day.

In addition to going to bed late four out of ten adults will be getting up an hour earlier this week so that they can fit more festive activities into their busy schedule, resulting in them feeling even more tired throughout the day.

The sleep study conducted by Travelodge surveyed 2,000 British adults to investigate their sleeping patterns during the busiest time of the year.

Key findings revealed that on Christmas Eve a fifth of parents, like Santa will work throughout the night assembling new toys, making up stockings, looking for batteries and conducting last minute preparations for the perfect Christmas for their family.

Chris Idzikowski, Edinburgh Sleep Centre: "It is important that you try to obtain a regular sleep pattern in the lead up to Christmas. Sleepiness is as dangerous as drinking and you have to be very careful if you're driving or doing anything else that needs your full attention.

"It is also advisable to drink less alcohol if you're sleep deprived as you will feel the effect a lot more. The more sleepy you are, the more potent the drink."

The study also revealed that there is a battle of the sexes when it comes to identifying how stressful Christmas is and the amount of work that is actually involved in hosting Christmas Day.

Over half of British women (59%) reported they suffer from high levels of ‘Hostess Stressmass’ during the lead up to Christmas.

Forty two per cent of females stated hosting Christmas is the most stressful job they have to undertake. Due to burning the candle at both ends and surviving on minimum sleep a third of women will encounter a festive scary nightmare this week. The most popular nightmare being chased by a gigantic turkey around the house. The second most popular is being naked at the family Christmas meal and passionately kissing Santa was the third most popular festive nightmare women will experience this week.

Listed below are the top ten most popular festive nightmares women will encounter this week:

1. Being attacked by a gigantic turkey around the house
2. Being naked at the family Christmas meal
3. Passionately kissing Santa
4. Eating too much food and turning into a Christmas pudding
5. Having a showdown with the mother-in law
6. Being attacked by a Christmas tree
7. Burning the Christmas meal
8. Being surrounded by elves
9. Presents getting lost in the post
10 Cooker breaks on Christmas morning

Other key findings revealed:

• 45% of men think women make far too much fuss over Christmas and make the day a lot more stressful than it should be

• Over a third (36%) of British men reported that they could do a better job of hosting Christmas than their partners and it would be stress free

• 41% of women surveyed stated they do not trust their partner to execute an essential Christmas task and in the long run it’s much easier if they just do it – as they know it will be done correctly first time

• 85% of women said men don’t understand or appreciate how much work and stress goes into creating the perfect Christmas

• 46% of women said they feel pressurised to create the perfect Christmas due to celebrity chefs such as Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson and Kirstie Allsopp who make Christmas entertaining look so easy.

• 41% of women are worrying that they will not be perceived to be a domestic goddess by their family and friends and will be criticised for their hosting skills

Listed below are the top seven Stressmass concerns that will be giving women sleepless nights this week

1. How to keep guests entertained over the festive season (32%)
2. Guests will think the house is dirty (30%)
3. Menu planning and cooking additional meals whilst guests stay over (29%)
4. Keeping the conversation going (28%)
5. Partner and children embarrassing them (25%)
6. The state of the spare room
7. Guest will hear partner’s snoring

Corinne Sweet, Relationship Psychologist said: “Stressmass can be avoided, prepare yourself psychologically by lowering your expectations, Christmas can’t be perfect.

“Take time-out every time you feel riled. Having a nap can work wonders, as people are especially agitated on not much sleep. Make space for yourself this Christmas (even a walk round the block can help), set boundaries with relatives and kids, and create some quiet ‘me-time’ to reflect on what the spirit of Christmas is really all about.”

Further research findings revealed, in a bid to help create the perfect Christmas at home 43% of Britons have suggested to guests who are staying with them over the festive season to book themselves into a nearby hotel. Whilst a fifth of respondents’ surveyed stated they wished their family and friends were more considerate when coming over for Christmas and booked into a nearby hotel; in order to give both parties some space.

A third of women said they get more stressed when they have guests staying over during the festive season than cooking Christmas dinner. A quarter of female respondents stated they enjoy Christmas more when guests just stay for the day and not sleep over. A quarter of women surveyed said they don’t like having guests stay over because they can’t watch their favourite TV programmes.

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge spokeswoman said: “In the last couple of years we have seen a growing trend for Britons to book their Christmas guests into a nearby hotel over the festive season. Interestingly this year we have experienced an early surge in bookings so that Christmas hosts can gift the hotel room to their guests prior to arrival.”

“Saying in a hotel takes the pressure of both parties and everyone can enjoy a good night’s sleep which is essential after a week of sleep deprivation.”

Listed below are Corrine Sweet’s top tips to avoid Stressmas over the festive season:

• Plan ahead, think of what might happen on the day and predict what problems may arise and develop solutions to avoid them happening.
• Give your guests a choice, don’t make people do things they don’t want to
• Share responsibility, allow others to help on the day and make them feel involved - especially children
• The most important thing is to relax and have fun, make your expectations realistic, appreciate the time spent together with your family

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