Bleary-eyed Britain: big sleep survey reveals the truth about Brits' awful sleeping patterns

Bleary-eyed Britain: big sleep survey reveals the truth about Brits' awful sleeping patterns

Published: 04-11-2020

  • Overwhelming majority of Brits get less sleep than they plan to
  • Londoners get the best kip, yet those from Brighton struggle most
  • Scots most eager to share their beds, yet Mancunians most likely to want to sleep alone
  • Britons addicted to technology before bed, with three quarters of us using electronic devices before sleep
  • Almost half of Brits never read before bed (44%)

As clocks turn back and the cold nights prepare to set in, Worcester Bosch’s Big Sleep Survey has revealed some alarming truths regarding Britain’s sleeping habits – including a widescale failure in our ability to get a good night’s rest.

The survey of 1,000 Brits by Worcester Bosch has been launched to also coincide with the launch of the leading boiler brand’s new campaign ‘Before Everything’, which serves to highlight the importance of good preparation before the hustle and bustle of daily life commences.

Brits left begging for more – with Brighton sporting the biggest bags under their eyes

Less than one in ten Brits (9.6%) actually feel they always get enough sleep – and over one in four (28%) feel they rarely or never do. This increases to one in three 16-24-year-olds (33%).

Whilst Londoners may feel frantic, they are the most comfortable sleepers in Britain – four fifths (82%) feel they get enough sleep. Comparatively, those in Brighton – with fresh air, and a beach on their doorstep – sleep the worst with just over half (56%) feeling they get a good kip. This is well under the British average (71%).

While the target duration of sleep many aim to get is close to seven hours (6 hrs 53min), the average Brit sleeps for 22 minutes less than hoped every night (6 hrs 31 min). 

The biggest divide in target sleep versus actual sleep is of the 8-9 hours category. While 27% of respondents aim for this, only 19% achieve it with many sleeping much less. In fact, almost one in five (21%) people sleep just four hours a night – yet only one in eight (13%) actually want to.

A huge 40% of Brits hit the sack between the hours of midnight and 6am every night. In comparison, less people go to bed between 6pm and midnight (34%). The average bedtime is 11.12pm.

Women fare slightly worse than men in getting their forty winks, sleeping for 6 hours and 28 mins on an average evening, compared to the 6 hour 35 mins slept by men.

Scots hate sleeping alone, whilst Mancunians do not want to share a bed

We’re a nation who crave attachment, with only one in four (26%) preferring to sleep alone than with another person – a stat that is near identical across genders and age groups, though 16-24s marginally come out as those who least want to be alone (23%).

Regionally, those that hate sleeping alone are residents of Edinburgh, with just one in eight (12%) wanting to sleep alone. Comparatively, Mancunians want nothing better as almost half (44%) are unwilling to share their duvet.

Brits close to ideal room temperature – but blue screen addiction disrupts many

Advice by Worcester Bosch notes that the ideal temperature for sleep is 17 degrees – and Britons aren’t far off with an average of 18.2 degrees (though preferences range from an icy 8 degrees to a sweltering 27 degrees).

We are a nation of blue screen lovers, with 75% using phones and electronic devices before sleeping – for an average of 18 minutes per person. While reading non-electronic books has been proven to aid sleep versus the use of technology, only 7% of Brits regularly read one compared to a huge 41% who never do.

Victoria Billings, Director of Marketing at Worcester Bosch, added: “The results of our Big Sleep Survey are clear – Brit don’t get enough sleep! With so many external factors and thoughts keeping us up at night causing havoc to our sleeping patterns, a large majority of the population are struggling to get one of the most important things in our lives: sleep.

“At Worcester Bosch we have been devoted to warming homes for nearly 60 years, and making home life as comfortable as it possibly can. We are aware of how the commotion of daily life, and the dangers of factors such as blue screen usage at night, can be hugely disruptive to our bedtime routines – but we also hope that our findings encourage everyone to see how they can improve their own sleeping habits for a warmer, more comfortable life.”

For more information on sleep, go to our advice page.

Watch our new 'Before Everything' Campaign

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