Mental Health

Could London be the real city that never sleeps?

It’s true that New York has the unofficial title of the city that never sleeps, but the same can be said for London. Arguably, the pace of life in London is significantly faster than it is in the rest of the UK. People are always rushing somewhere with someplace to be, and in turn, are getting stressed because they haven’t got there yet. This cycle can inherently have a negative effect on your health, especially if you’re not sleeping well – sleep deprivation can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. So how much sleep do Londoner’s, in fact, get, compared to the rest of the UK?

A recent study with HealthUnlocked revealed that more than 50% of UK residents surveyed were not getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night – with Londoners ranking the worst of the lot, getting only 3 – 4 hours of sleep per night. 

Respondents noted that interrupted sleep also played a major part in their sleepless nights – as they would wake up countless times in the evening, preventing them from getting a good amount of quality sleep. An astonishing 62% of people reported waking up at least once during the night, every night, while 20% reported waking up almost every night of the week. Only 2% of respondents recorded having uninterrupted sleep.

What’s keeping Londoners awake?
It’s not surprising that personal stress and anxiety, as well as medical conditions (such as Fibromyalgia, chronic pain and even menopause),  ranked the highest on the scale as reasons for sleeplessness – with 40% of people reporting stress and anxiety and 55% who said medical conditions.

Other reasons included poor sleep hygiene (16%), work obligations (9%) and a need to go to the loo – with some people needing the loo 6 – 7 times a night. Some also noted over-tiredness, nightmares, depression and the inability to switch off in the evenings as reasons for them struggling to fall asleep. 

89% of respondents noted that they have trouble falling asleep, but more than half admitted that they did not see a doctor about their sleep problems. 

Where can people go to for support?
While the occasional late-night could be relatively harmless to the body, a recurring lack of sleep throughout the week could be detrimental to your health. The NHS reports that people who do not get enough sleep at night are more susceptible to chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. 

When you’re asleep, your body works towards supporting healthy brain function and development, therefore lack of sleep can also impact your mental health. 

Making sure you get enough quality sleep at night will help maintain good physical and mental health. The Sleep Matters community on HealthUnlocked is a great place for help and support if you’re struggling to fall asleep at night. If you’re having constant sleepless nights during the week, make sure you speak to your doctor about it. 

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