One in eight Britons feel tired all the time

Isabelle KirkData Journalist
January 11, 2022, 11:22 AM UTC

According to the NHS, feeling exhausted is so common that it has its own acronym, ‘TATT’, or ‘tired all the time’, and a new YouGov survey reveals that 13% of Britons exist in a state of constant exhaustion.

Another quarter (25%) report feeling weary ‘most of the time’, while a further third (33%) feel knackered ‘about half of the time’.

Unsurprisingly, parents of younger children are more likely to say they often feel tired. Around a fifth (22%) of parents of at least one child under 18 say they feel tired all of the time, compared with 8% of parents of children over 18, and 13% of Britons who are not parents.

Mothers are also more likely to feel exhausted than fathers – 26% of mums of a child under 18 say they feel tired all the time, compared with 18% of fathers.

How does tiredness impact daily life for Britons?

Tiredness can impact every aspect of our lives – from feeling sluggish at work, being too sleepy to spend quality time with family, and swapping dates for spending time on the sofa.

People at different stages of their lives feel the impact of tiredness differently, and overall, younger Britons are more likely to feel tired than older ones.

Britons aged between 18-24 are twice as likely to say tiredness has a great or moderate impact on their work life (41%) than those aged between 50 and 64 (21%).

Younger Britons are also more likely to feel the impact of tiredness on their personal life than older ones – 41% of 18 to 24-year-olds say their tiredness has a “great” or “moderate impact” on this aspect of their life, compared to around a quarter (24%) of those aged 65 and older.

Tiredness impacts family life most for 25 to 49-year-olds, with around a third (32%) saying their tiredness has a great or moderate impact on spending time with family.

Men and women feel differently about how their tiredness impacts their love lives – 26% of women say tiredness has a great or moderate impact compared with 19% of men.

And while nearly half (48%) of mothers with children under 18 feel that tiredness has an impact on their family life, just over a third (35%) of fathers say the same.

Overall, 35% of Britons feel tiredness has a great or moderate impact on their personal life, 25% on their family life, 24% on their personal life and 22% on their love life.

Women are more likely to feel tired than men

Three in five women (61%) say they feel tired when they wake up, even when they get a lot of sleep, while around half (49%) of men say the same.

Similarly, half of women (50%) say they feel tired at the end of the day but struggle to fall asleep at night, compared to 38% of men.

Women are also slightly more likely (49%) to say they feel like they don’t have enough time in the day to rest and relax than men (44%).

What would Britons trade for an extra hour of sleep?

Around half (47%) of Britons would prefer an extra hour of sleep than to be given £20 in cash, while 40% of parents of children under 18 would prefer more sleep over an hour of good behaviour from their children.

Two in five Britons (39%) would prefer to sleep for an hour than spend time with friends or family, and more than a third (36%) would take a snooze over sex.

It seems as if Britons value their sleep time at between £20 and £50 per hour – while 44% of Brits would prefer £20 in cash over an hour of sleep, 69% would take the cash over the snooze if it was £50.

In general, women are more likely to choose sleep over something they enjoy than men.

Women are more than twice as likely to say they would prefer an hour of sleep over having sex with someone they’re attracted to (49%) than men (21%).

Similarly, while 40% of women say they would prefer extra sleep over an hour of quality time with a romantic partner, 21% of men say the same.

See full results here