COUNTY NEWS: Sussex residents ‘not getting enough sleep’

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Residents in Sussex are not getting enough sleep, according to new research.

In a study carried out by the University of Leeds and Silentnight, East Sussex residents get an average of 6.5 hours sleep each night compared to the recommended seven hours, while West Sussex residents snooze for an average of 6.7 hours.

Information documented on a new interactive map shows East Sussex residents have an average bedtime of 10pm and wake up at 6am, in line with the national UK average. West Sussex residents get to sleep at 11pm on average and sleep in until 8am.

Despite not getting enough sleep, West Sussex residents are said to have a 6.3/10 sleep satisfaction level, compared to East Sussex’s 5.5/10.

Lecturer in Psychology Dr Anna Weighall, who led the sleep research at University of Leeds, noted that the greatest sleep disruption lies in areas where long commutes are required.

She said: “Our study has revealed that as a nation we are really struggling with our sleep. With all of us receiving around an hour less than we intend to each night, there’s no wonder we are feeling unsatisfied.”

She also argues commuter behaviour could be responsible for the tug of war between intended and actual sleep.

In West Sussex, residents intend to get 7.4 hours of sleep compared to an actual sleep time of 6.7 hours. The gap is bigger in East Sussex, where people intend to get 7.6 hours but only end up snoozing for 6.5 hours.

Dr Weighall added: “It’s interesting to see that with residents living in Greater London and the Home Counties we are seeing the biggest difference between intended and actual sleep. The band of sleepers may reflect commuting behaviour in these areas, with higher numbers of people travelling longer distances to work. Furthermore, similar sleep reductions seem prevalent in areas around other big cities across the UK.”

In a study of more than 1,000 UK residents, Leicestershire led the way as the nation’s ‘sleepiest’ county, with residents getting on average over seven and a half hours sleep per night, closely followed by Worcestershire with an average of seven hours.

At the opposite end of the scale, worryingly residents in Herefordshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire received less than five and a half hours sleep per night.

Commenting on the findings, Silentnight’s sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, believes there are many factors, including mental health, diet and technology, which can result in Brits being unable to nod off.

She said: “There are many factors that can prevent us from being happy sleepers but there’s plenty of simple things we can try to help get a more enjoyable night’s sleep.

“My top tips would be to manage your work-life balance and set a time when you stop thinking and talking about work, to go ‘tech free’ for at least 90 minutes before bed time, and to make sure sugary snacks and heavy meals are avoided before bed.”

How does your bedtime compare? Find out using Silentnight’s interactive sleep map and get more tips from sleep expert Dr Nerina on how to get a great night’s sleep at www.silentnight.co.uk/sleep-matters/interactive-map.

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