The land of nod

October 30, 2010, 1:50 AM GMT+0

Nearly one in five British adults is ‘concerned about sleeplessness’, a YouGov SixthSense report shows, as British Summer Time ends and the clocks go back this weekend. While many can look forward to an extra hour’s kip in bed as a result of the change, it’s clear that some people find it easier to slip into the land of nod than others.

  • 19% of the population claim they are currently affected by sleeplessness, with women (22%) appearing to be affected more than men (16%).
  • 21% of the population say that sleeplessness is something that they are ‘personally concerned about’.

However, it appears that not all people are opting for treatment to combat the problem.

  • 10% of the population say they have sleeping aids (including herbal remedies) in their home or medicine cupboard
  • Just 7% have used a sleeping aid in the past 12 months.

Perhaps Britain’s caffeine habit has more of an effect than we realise on the number of ZZZs we are getting each night.

  • 47% say they are likely to drink tea during the day, while 45% drink coffee. The caffeine content of tea is lower than that of coffee, but it can still affect people’s ability to relax and sleep come evening.
  • One third (33%) of the population says tea is the drink they consume most often during any given day, compared to coffee (25%) and tap water (18%).
  • 36% of the population say they drink their ‘most consumed’ option at least five times a day.

Quality of sleep

According to the NHS insomnia advice website, there are numerous factors that can reduce the quality of our nightly sleep, including stressful events, psychiatric problems, physical conditions, substance misuse and medication.

Many medical websites suggest that people avoid caffeinated drinks for 4-6 hours before sleep, with insomnia sufferers advised to leave it longer still between beverage and bedtime.

See more on the YouGov SixthSense Lifestyle reports