Lockdown Brits are sleeping longer – but having a worse night’s sleep due to a change in routine, general worry and late night snacking.
Research has found the average adult got six hours and 43 minutes of sleep on a typical weekday night before the coronavirus pandemic.
But a lack of school runs and commuting has seen the average adult getting around an hour of extra sleep each week – just under seven hours on each weeknight. And 13 per cent are regularly exceeding their recommended eight hours rest – up from just seven per cent before the lockdown.
Yet despite this, nearly one in four admit their quality of sleep is worse than ever as they are kept up by worries and the change in their routine.
The study of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by eve sleep, also revealed that snacking closer to bedtime and working later into the evenings are leading to a more disturbed night’s sleep.
A fifth are reading the news before bed, meaning they are unable to sleep as soundly as usual, while half are struggling to adapt to their new schedule.
With routines currently suffering due to this new normal, eve sleep has partnered with sleep expert Dave Gibson to create a ‘Routine Calculator’ which provides expert-approved routines aiding better sleep, based on your wake-up time and age group.
Cheryl Calverley, CMO at eve sleep said:
“Routine is hugely influential on how we sleep – not just for how long but the quality of sleep itself. Simply going to bed and waking up the same time every day can have a huge impact on how we feel the following morning, leaving us better able to deal with the anxiety and uncertainty we’re all facing.”
The study also found 27 per cent are looking at screens closer to bedtime more now, which is causing them to have a worse night’s sleep. And nearly one in 10 are exercising later than before social distancing measures were introduced, while as many as 48 per cent are kept up worrying about coronavirus.
As a result, 47 per cent have noticed their dream habits changing, with 14 per cent tossing and turning more in their sleep from their nocturnal adventures. More than one in 10 are even seeing their daytime worries continue into their dreams.
Although 18 per cent currently feel refreshed when they wake up, 27 per cent of Brits feel lethargic and 23 per cent feel sleepy. The research, conducted via OnePoll, also revealed how this change in people’s sleeping patterns is impacting their daily lives for better and for worse.
Nearly a fifth are cooking more often and one in 10 are eating better, while 13 per cent are more willing to keep fit. In fact, one in four said they are exercising more than before, and it allows them to sleep for longer and go into a deeper sleep.
However, 23 per cent are snacking more as a result of their current sleeping patterns, and 31 per cent are watching more TV.
But there are certainly benefits to staying at home, as a fifth said it allows them to take more time for themselves and ‘slow down’, and 22 per cent said they’re able to spend more time with family.
Dave Gibson, founder of thesleepsite.co.uk and sleep expert for eve sleep said: “Repetition, regularity, rituals and habits are all mechanisms which help to generate mental security and allow us to feel psychologically ‘safe’.
“As stress levels remain high and we’re being pushed out of our ‘normal’ daily life, instilling a home routine is more important than ever for our sleep.”
Top 10 reasons Brits are having a worse night’s sleep:
1. The general change of routine
2. General worries about coronavirus
3. Worries about family members getting sick
4. Worries about my health/ my family’s health in general
5. Worries about catching coronavirus myself
6. Worries about finances
7. Worries about going outside to do things like food shopping
8. Looking at screens closer to bedtime such as watching TV or checking social media
9. Worries about work
10. Reading the news before bed