- Just over half (51%) of UK adults surveyed are not getting enough sleep.
- Almost two thirds (64%) are also experiencing physical or mental health problems.
- Nearly half (45%) said that the cost of living and the associated financial squeeze are keeping them awake at night.
- Almost 1 in 5 (18%) cite money worries as the main reason they are not getting enough sleep.
With the country getting an extra hour in bed as the clocks go back this weekend, Aviva’s latest study1 reveals that over half (51%) of the nation say they are not getting the recommended seven hours or more sleep per night2. On average, UK adults were found to be getting just under six and a half hours of sleep per night.
When asked about the main reasons why they are not getting enough sleep, nearly one in five people surveyed cited money worries (18%) followed by health or medical problems (16%) and workplace pressure (11%). Almost 1 in 10 (9%) of survey respondents attributed lack of sleep to family and relationship issues.
On average, UK adults said they had 5 nights of trouble sleeping in the past month because of money-related stress, with nearly half (45%) agreeing that the cost of living and the associated financial squeeze are keeping them awake at night. Those surveyed said they are worried because they are struggling to pay utility bills such as electricity, gas or water (24%) and having difficulty affording food, drink and other basic necessities (21%)3.
Almost two thirds (64%) of UK adults were also experiencing physical or mental health problems. Nearly a third (31%) of survey respondents said they are feeling tired all the time and over a quarter (29%) said they were experiencing mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. One in five (20%) of people surveyed said they had gained weight and another 18% said they are having difficulty concentrating and/ or memory problems.
As well as suffering general fatigue people who regularly don’t get enough sleep are at a higher risk of serious medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Dr Subashini M, Medical Director, Aviva UK Health says: “Aviva’s research highlights the worrying impact that the current period of uncertainty is having on the nation’s mental and physical health. Without a good night’s sleep, we can find it more difficult to function and deal with the challenges of everyday life. Our research highlights worrying trends, such as feeling tired all the time, mental health problems and difficulty concentrating which could also affect productivity and someone's ability to work effectively and safely. As well as suffering general fatigue people who regularly don’t get enough sleep are at a higher risk of serious medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The current financial situation is likely to continue for some time, and sleep alone isn’t going to solve everything, however, it’s a good place to start.”
Sleeping difficulties were also negatively affecting the sufferers’ social lives (35%) and relationship with their partners (26%). Just over a third (34%) of UK adults said sleeping difficulties are negatively affecting their work or academic performance, further highlighting the importance of adequate and quality sleep for both health and social as well as professional life.
Reassuringly, the research findings suggest that most UK adults are aware of how important is to get the right amount of sleep, with more than 7 in 10 (72%) taking measures to sleep better.
While we sleep a number of physiological processes take place relating to our immune system, our metabolism, how we age, how we process and retain information and how we manage stress, to name a few.
Dr Subashini M, Medical Director, Aviva UK Health continues: “Sleep isn’t just about restoring our energy levels after a hard day, it plays an essential role in keeping our mind and body working well. While we sleep a number of physiological processes take place relating to our immune system, our metabolism, how we age, how we process and retain information and how we manage stress, to name a few. There are lots of methods available to help aid sleep, such as having a good sleep routine, allowing time to wind down and going to sleep at a similar time. It’s also a good thing to avoid electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime as they give out blue light that can stop sleep. Controlling light and noise levels, alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine can also help with quality of sleep."
"If sleep becomes a real concern and is impacting your mental wellbeing, therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can be really useful for some. Your GP can advise on the most suitable course of action. The most important thing is tackling the root cause of the problem. There’s a whole host of support and information available through charities and specialist organisations and it’s likely that any health and wellbeing benefits you receive through your employer will include practical tools to help support your mental, physical and financial wellbeing.”
- Top 10 tips on how to sleep better
- Sleep problems - Every Mind Matters - NHS contains a wide range of useful information relating to sleep.
- Money Helper
1. The research was conducted by Censuswide with 2006 nationally representative consumers in the UK between 08.09.23 - 11.09.23. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.
2. According to the NHS, a healthy adult usually needs around 7 to 9 hours of sleep although age, health and personal circumstances affect how much sleep we need as well. Not enough sleep is defined as anyone who answered 6 hours or less for the amount of sleep they’re getting.
3. You have previously agreed with the statement “The cost of living and the associate financial squeeze are keeping me awake at night”, which things are you most worried about? (Tick up to three)
Struggling to pay utility bills, such as electricity, gas, or water
Difficulty affording food, drink and other basic necessities
Concerns about rising fuel prices
Worries about saving for retirement or future financial security
Not being able to afford rent
Worries about the affordability of housing in the future
Not being able to afford mortgage
Struggling to pay for childcare
Notes to editors:
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