The survey, commissioned by leading bedding specialist, Slumberdown, to look at the nation’s summer sleeping habits, revealed that eight out of 10 (82%) Brits have trouble getting to sleep in summer. As a result, a shocking 80% of adults are getting under the average 7.5 hours sleep a night, with and a staggering 10% of the population getting a paltry four hours kip.
Topping the summer sleep deprivation charts was getting too warm in bed for nearly two thirds of people (63%), as well as the lighter mornings and evenings being blamed by half of all respondents (48%) as the reason for being unable to nod off. To combat the soaring temperatures, 58% of the 1,000* people surveyed said that they had been forced to change what they wear to bed as a result of the heat, with 50% choosing to snooze in the buff or the briefest of underwear.
In contrast, only 38% or people said that they had ditched their winter duvet for a lighter summer version as a means to beat the summer heat, with a further quarter of Brits (23%) choosing to sweat it out underneath their heavy duty winter duvets all year round.
Slumberdown sleep expert and Director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research, Professor Jason Ellis, said: “These figures are concerning, especially when 10% of those asked reported sleeping for less than four hours a night. Now, whilst we all need different amounts of sleep, very few of us can manage on just four hours. That lack of sleep, in the short term, is likely to impact on our mood and we are probably going to be a little snappier and irritable compared to normal. Even our ability to accomplish basic tasks suffers when our sleep is restricted to four hours and we have to put in a lot more effort just to keep up with our day-to-day routine.
“It’s also interesting that we are more likely to change what we wear in bed rather than change our bedding in the summer. Considering how many of us are still reporting trouble sleeping, perhaps it is time to change both what we wear and our bedding. Swapping for a lighter duvet and cotton sheets can make a difference in terms of getting off to sleep, and staying asleep, when the heat is the problem.”
Alarmingly, 15% of those surveyed – across all age ranges, from 18 to over 65 – stated that they chose to take medication during the summer months only, to help them sleep better.
Professor Jason continued: ““The key thing for the summer, more so than any other time of year, is ensuring the bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet before bedtime. A fan in the bedroom is an excellent addition. Not only will it help circulate air and help keep you cool but it also produces white noise which helps mask additional noises from the outside. That way you can keep the windows open at night without too much interruption. Also, make sure your curtains or blinds don’t let in light, as that signals the brain to wake up, and if you keep your curtains or blinds closed during the day that will also help regulate the temperature in the bedroom so it will be easier to get off to sleep.
“The finding that over 15% reported using medication to sleep, but only in the summer, really does underscore the fact that our sleep is more vulnerable to disruption over the summer months, presumably due to the heat, but we also have to consider the impact of an increased sensitivity to allergies due to a higher pollen count.”
Among the more a-typical reasons survey respondents offered for why they find it so difficult to get to sleep in summer, were pets on the bed, birds tweeting and seasonal allergies, such as hay fever.
To help consumers get the best night’s sleep possible, Slumberdown provides a selection of summer bedding, including the 4.5 Summer Cool and Bouncy duvets (available in Tesco, from £12.00), the 4.5 tog Adjusts to You Climate Control duvet (stocked in Aldi and Matalan , from £12.99) and Anti-Allergy range (available from Asda, from £9.00).
Watch the Slumberdown summer togs ad here: http://slumberdown.co.uk/