Three-Quarters Of British Women Suffer Sleep Problems

Over Half Of Brits Struggle To Sleep

The Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 14/11/11 12:17 Updated: 14/11/11 12:17

Over half of Brits suffer from sleep problems, with women being the worst affected, experts have found.

The study by the University of Glasgow and Sleepio, found that 51% of adults struggle to nod off to sleep at night or remain asleep. A shocking 75% of women reported sleep deprivation issues compared to 25% of men.

Experts also found that lack of sleep can have a serious knock-on effect on our health, with 77% admitting to problems concentrating, 64% feeling less productive at work and 83% suffering mood swings as a result of poor sleep patterns.

"Living with poor sleep and its consequences is not only very common, but it is all likelihood degrading Britain's health," says professor Colin Espie from the study. "Insomnia affects people's quality of life during the day, not just their sleep at night."

Researchers are hoping that these findings will highlight the need for sleep deprivation treatment on the NHS. "This is not a trivial matter. Persistent poor sleep elevates the risk of developing new illnesses. This has been shown in disorders such as diabetes, but also very convincingly in depression," adds professor Espie.

Do you struggle to doze off at night? To help you get a quality night's sleep, we've spoken to sleep expert Marianne Davey, from the British Snoring & Sleep Apnea Association and asked her how to get a good night's rest.

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  • Breathe

    "Shut your eyes and focus on your breathing as it becomes slower and deeper. This makes your body more relaxed."

  • Switch Off

    "Finish everything you have to do on your computer by 10pm. Switch off mobiles and PCs and leave them outside of the bedroom so you're not tempted to answer texts or emails."

  • Have A Bath (Not Shower)

    "Take a long, hot bath before going to bed. This helps relax and soothe your muscles. Showers, on the other hand, tend to wake you up. Insomniacs should avoid showers in the evening."

  • Never Oversleep

    "Never oversleep because of a poor night's sleep. Get up at about the same time every day, especially on the morning after you've lost sleep. Sleeping late for just a couple of days can reset your body clock to a different cycle and you'll get sleepy later and wake up later.

  • Eat Early

    "Don't go to bed on a full stomach - make your final meal before 9pm."

  • Create A Story

    "Create a story in your head and allow your imagination to experience that story."

  • Don't Worry

    "Don't go to bed worrying about anxieties or concerns. They can wait until tomorrow."

  • Avoid Caffeine And Tyrosine

    "Caffeine, a chemical in coffee, tea and chocolate causes hyperactivity and wakefulness. Some sleep laboratories encourage people to avoid such tyrosine-laden foods as fermented cheeses such as cheddar cheese, ripe avocados, some imported beers and fermented meats (bologna, pepperoni, salami). Also avoid red wines, especially chianti."

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