MAKE THE MOST OF SUNDAY'S EXTRA HOUR IN BED - BRITS MISS OUT ON 60 DAYS' SLEEP A YEAR
26th Oct 2005
Over a million Brits get less than 4 hours sleep a night(1) - the equivalent of losing two month's worth of solid shuteye every year . A further 39% do only slightly better with between 4 and 6 hours' sleep a night - still falling well short of experts' recommended eight hours (2).
A sleep study released today by Travelodge lists restless pets, snoring bedfellows and squeaky beds as just some of the reasons for Brits' poor sleep. The biggest cause, highlighted by one in five Brits, was work pressures with a further 8% admitting they do not sleep at all the night before an important meeting.
Stephen Emegbo, Sleep Physiologist at the University of Surrey, commented: "Britain today is a 24-hour society with plenty of opportunities to work and party for much longer than we should. Societal demands - the need to do more in a day - are consequently determining our sleep behaviours and an individual's regular sleep pattern will not always meet his or her actual sleep need. This lack of sleep can be disastrous - the person will experience poor or at the very least, reduced performance and their decision-making will certainly be affected."
The pressure to squeeze more work, play and travel around those extra activities into our waking hours sees Brits wrongly eat into time reserved for sleep. Where work is concerned, the study found half of all Brits regularly work longer than their contracted hours and one in ten (9%) put in 10+ hours a week overtime - at least an extra 22 days' work a year(3).
As a result of today's 'always on' lifestyle, 48% of Brits constantly feel tired on their way to work and more than half (54%) nod off on the sofa in the evening. Furthermore, six hundred thousand Brits admitted to falling asleep at the wheel because they hadn't had enough sleep.
Guy Parsons, Sales and Marketing Director of Travelodge, said, "Staying at a Travelodge makes sense for those facing a big day or long journey, be it for a business meeting or a social gathering like a wedding. It cuts out the disturbances to your regular sleep pattern that come from getting up extra early or returning home late and, importantly, it won't break the bank. We offer a restful sleeping environment designed to help people get that vital good night's sleep."
TRAVELODGE'S TOP TIPS FOR FORTY WINKS
Eat only light meals prior to sleep as hunger pains and gastric emptying can interfere with sleep. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol at least 4-6 hours before bed where possible
Ensure your sleeping environment is comfortable, quiet and dark
Keep a regular sleep schedule - don't take naps in between. The body will behave better with a defined sleep time. This can be entrained and established over a couple of weeks of regular sleep times
Wind-down prior to sleep. It is much harder to initiate sleep if you're tense and anxious. A warm bath less than 90 minutes before bed can help relaxation
Keep a realistic view about what sleep you can get and what you need in periods of excessive work or stress. If you have to work 12-14hr days and then help the kids with their homework, accept the fact that you will get less sleep. Having a realistic view upon how much sleep you can get and need will help you to remain "relaxed" and in control of the situation
- Ends -
For more information, please contact:
Travelodge PR Manager
0121 521 6624
* Research commissioned by Travelodge and conducted by Markettiers 4DC in October 2005 among 1471 people.
(1) In mid-2004 the UK was home to 59.8 million people: Sources: Mid-year population estimates: Office for National Statistics, General Register Office for Scotland and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Figures are approximate. The relative statistic is 2% - 1.2 million of 60 million.
(2) Figure based on those getting 4 hours sleep a day compared to recommendations for 8. 4 hours x 365 days = 1460. 1460 hours / 24 hours = 60.8. Therefore 60 + days sleep a year missing
(3) 10 hours a week, 52 weeks a year = 520 hours. 520/24 = 21.6 days spent doing overtime at work
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