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How’s the nation sleeping? An update in the ‘new normal’

We blinked and it’s May. As we begin our third month of #stayhome life, many of us are starting to adjust to this ‘new normal’. But how has the nation’s sleep fared? We asked 2,000 Brits about their nights to get the scoop on how much – or little – shuteye they’re enjoying.

Longer sleep but worse quality

If there’s one thing that helps us start every day with a spring in our step, it’s a cracking night’s sleep. We were chuffed to find out that locked-down Brits are generally sleeping for longer, thanks to not having to suffer the daily commute. That’s meant more time to cram in some extra zzz’s before peeling ourselves out of bed. Delightfully, we’re now getting an average of seven hours per night, compared to just 5 and a half hours at the end of 2019.

But there’s a catch. One in 10 are seeing their worries creep into their dreams, and 27% feel sluggish the next day from a rubbish night’s sleep. It would seem our precious time in the land of nod is being knocked by the uncertain goings-on we’re facing right now.

Luckily, as your trusty sleep experts, we’re here to help. Our unwind with eve series is there to help you get back on the straight and narrow while everything is feeling a bit skew-whiff. With some helpful tips from our sleep expert Dave Gibson, founder of thesleepsite.co.uk, we have advice for nailing a great routine at home, unscrambling the mind and stretching for better sleep – and better mornings.

Is sleep hygiene to blame?

After digging into our survey, we found the blurred line between work and home is interfering with our daily rhythms. 27% of Brits confessed to scrolling on their phones closer to bedtime than usual, and a hefty 1 in 10 are WFB (working from bed) while 1 in 5 are WFS (working from sofa). We’d never judge even if you WFT (we’ll leave you to work that one out), but here’s a nugget of info: working in the places we tend to relax can actually meddle with our sleep, giving our minds a curveball when it comes to figuring out where work ends and play begins. Hmmmm. 

Over to exercise, and 1 in 10 are exercising later in the evening than they did before life at home. According to Dave, getting our blood pumping too close to bedtime can cause our bodies to fire up, keeping us awake during those precious sleeping hours. And when we lay awake, worries can creep in – which is why 48% of Brits said they’re being kept up by bothersome thoughts about the ‘new normal’.

So what gives? We think it’s a simple case of sleep hygiene gone askew. And the solution is remarkably simple. Cut-off times for screen use or exercising earlier are two simple ways to achieve restful kip and brighter mornings. Try our trusty routine calculator for help with planning a daily routine that preps you for wonderful well-earnt sleep at the end of it.

And for those bothersome nighttime niggles – like the worry of getting back to normal in the future (a concern for a whopping 32% of us) – try our wonderfully calming bedtime meditation, five minutes of pure relaxation that’ll carry you off into dreamland. We’ve even made one for your little ones for ultimate bedtime bliss.

Silver linings

We may have seen some road bumps with our sleep, but we also found some utterly heartwarming things about Brits living at home.

1 in 5 revealed that home life has allowed them to ramp up self-care and slow down their pace, and 22% said they’re able to spend more time with family. Whether that’s a good thing is for you to decide, but we think it’s a lovely silver lining in these challenging times.

And there’s more. 20% of Brits are cooking more often (did someone say banana bread?), 1 in 10 are eating better (definitely thanks to banana bread) and 13% are more willing to keep fit. Now if that’s not something to be proud of, we don’t know what is.

Sleeping forward

With life at home and a slower pace, now’s the time to max those 7 glorious hours of sleep. Try our helpful tips and tricks to up your sleep game or head to our blog for more sleep wellness inspo. There’s nothing quite like waking up full of beans, and we think everyone deserves to feel this way now more than ever.

 

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