It’s one of the most precious, yet elusive things we all strive for: a peaceful, uninterrupted night’s sleep, especially after a long day at work – or a hard day’s night if you work evening shifts.
But how often do we get it? With busier, more stressful lives spent juggling careers, family and ensuring their wellbeing, it’s no wonder many Brits find it difficult to completely switch off at night. Lack of sleep is something widely discussed amongst colleagues but an issue that is hard to solve. The question is, would you pay for a good night’ssleep?
A survey of 2,200 British workers was conducted to discover how much they would be willing to pay for a natural night’s sleep when suffering from insomnia*. And it turns out that, on average, we’d be willing to spend £72.21 for one night’s worth! Sure, that’s the equivalent of around 36 Starbucks Espressos but perhaps cutting down on caffeine throughout the day between meetings might help those struggling to fall asleep in the first place…
The survey strove to find out which industry valued sleep the most. It was interesting that despite long and irregular hours, those in healthcare would pay the second least amount at £55.30 for a night’s worth of natural sleep– perhaps they are just more used to sleeping less. Those who work in the energy industry said they would be willing to pay the most, £93.75, whilst those in hospitality valued their sleep the least at just £51.70.
Across the UK, some Brits were willing to pay more than others – sleep is obviously highly valuable to North Westerners who were willing to pay the most for a good night’s rest: £90.70. East Midlanders, on the other hand, would pay the least at just £51.20.
The survey also asked people about the steps they take to help them sleep when suffering from insomnia. Almost half (49 per cent) of respondents state they’d pick up a book if they can’t sleep, and around one-fifth (21 per cent) would surf the internet despite it being common knowledge that this doesn’t aid sleep in any way. Fifteen per cent of people said they would get up and work instead, eight per cent would choose to do a workout, six per cent prefer taking sleeping pills, and just one per cent of would have an alcoholic drink to help them nod off.
According to experts, you shouldn’t work or use your computer to surf the web in bed. The goal is to associate the bedroom with sleep alone, so that your body and brain are sent strong signals to indicate that it’s time to turn in once you’re tucked in. Exercising right before bed isn’t ideal either as it raises your core temperature, increases your heart rate and prompts your system to release adrenaline, which can keep you awake. Although sleeping pills are all too easy to rely on, when you take these prescription drugs over a long period of time, your body can grow accustomed to them. Eventually, you’ll need higher doses to produce the same sleep-inducing effect. For these reasons, it’s far better to step out of the bedroom, take a bath, read a book or sip on a cup of herbal tea before returning to bed once you feel sleepy.
The survey also asked how many nights per week British workers get a perfect sleep, for which the answer was just three nights! This means that for four nights of the week or 208 nights of a year, they are having uneasy rest. Additionally, almost half (49 per cent) of respondents sleep on their sides, 33 per cent on their back and 18 per cent on their stomachs.
Interested in wellbeing? We recommend the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019.