A restless, fidgety sleep goes well beyond craving a million and one coffees the following day. Research commissioned by us revealed that sleepless nights are having some pretty amusing and disastrous knock-on effects. From snoring to anxiety, the study also unearthed the reasons why so many of the population are experiencing a dark circle-inducing 90 ‘bad nights of sleep’ each year. Yikes.
rise and (don’t) shine
Does a lack of sleep turn you into an emotional wreck? Or make you more likely to reach for the double chocolate croissant to go with your latte? You’re not alone. The poll of 2,000 UK adults discovered unhealthy food choices, rows with partners, heightened emotional feelings, clumsiness and oversleeping are all more likely to happen after a bad night’s sleep.
A sleepless night can also have knock-on effects at work, according to the study. The research found it also gives us the attention span of a goldfish. And, as a result, 171 questionable decisions or lapses of judgement are made over the course of a typical year.
The research found that a lack of humour, grumpiness, and an increased likelihood to snap at your children were also common side-effects of not enough shut-eye.
And the effects aren’t just skin deep. Two-thirds of those asked believe poor sleep is having a significant impact on their lives – with just under half suggesting it has damaged their health in some way. People also reported driving more carelessly after a lack of sleep.
Just under half of those questioned say a rubbish sleep affects their relationship, while 29% say it has impacted their relationship with their children.
why are we struggling to sleep?
The research found the main causes of a bad night’s sleep are stress, being too hot and needing to go to the toilet in the middle of the night. Worrying about work, snoring partners and outside noise are also common reasons for a disappointing kip.
For 44%, the anxiety they might have about bad sleep is in itself a cause of poor slumber. On average, those polled sleep for six hours and 34 minutes per night – typically waking up twice.
While these findings might seem a tad depressing, there is a teeny glimmer of hope. Half of the population admit they could do more to ensure they sleep better than they currently do, and 90% think a good night’s sleep has significant health benefits. While seven in 10 consider sleep to be a priority for them over the next 12 months.
Christine Hansen, a holistic sleep expert and spokeswoman for eve Sleep, explained:
“The good news is, 2018 is the year when sleep is finally on the agenda. This research shows that 75% of people are more aware of the importance of sleep, compared to ten years ago, which is hugely positive. While an impressive 90% believe a good night’s sleep has significant health benefits. Although we understand how important sleep is for us and our health, there is still a lot we can all do to improve our night time routines.”
top 30: knock-on effects of bad sleep
- Feeling stressed
- More likely to overreact to things
- Reduced sense of humour
- Having a short attention span/finding it hard to concentrate
- Feeling more emotional
- Being unproductive at work
- Being more clumsy
- Eating unhealthy food
- Spending day in a bit of a haze
- Having bags under my eyes
- Arguing with my partner
- Feeling rushed
- Being snappy with the kids
- Being late
- Reduced empathy/find it hard to care about things
- Forgetting things at work
- Lacking patience when driving
- Making mistakes at work
- Have less patience with shop assistants
- Having less patience with clients/customers
- Being less presentable
- Being ruder
- Missing appointments
- Driving less safely
- Missing deadlines
- Arguing with work colleagues
- Pulling a sickie
- Dropping my kids off to school late
- Forgetting to make the kids’ pack lunch