28% of Brits wake up more than three times a night, 15% of us have the ‘Thatcher gene’, sleeping for less than 5 hours nightly, and 1 in 100 NEVER change their sheets! What's affecting sleep where you live?

Constantly checking emails, watching TV before bed and noisy neighbours are some of the unnatural components of our sleep routines that are causing havoc with our sleeping patterns. The rise in technology and making ourselves available 24/7 means more than a quarter (28%) of Brits wake up more than three times every night, and 24% of us take over half an hour to get to sleep, due to problems like anxiety (13%) and noise (18.9%).

We commissioned a survey, digging deeper to find the reasons for our sleepless nights and create the formula for the truly natural, restful night’s sleep that Brits are looking for.

Our research has been exploring sleeping patterns across the UK - what's keeping your city awake at night?

Birmingham Tops List for Noisy Streets

The research revealed that over a quarter (25.2%) of those in Birmingham has their slumber regularly disturbed by street noise – the highest percentage in the UK.

Brighton Gets it Right and are Sleeping Tight

Brighton are top of the league for good habits – a whopping 42.9% read before they go to bed, a sure fire reason no doubt that a large proportion of residents (18.4%) never wake up in the night, the highest figure in the UK for undisturbed sleepers. The survey revealed that Brighton is an animal loving city; 10% of people are woken up by their pets - more than anywhere else in the UK.

Bristol Tops the List for Worrying at Night

Bristol topped the list for night time worriers: almost a quarter of respondents (23.3%) cited ‘feeling anxious or worried’ as reasons for waking up in the middle of the night.

Cardiff has the Most Uncomfortable Beds

The results in Cardiff show that almost a quarter (23.9%) of people struggle with their sleep because of street noise, one of the highest percentages in the UK. 32.6% are sleeping on beds so uncomfortable it wakes them up on a regular basis, which is higher than all of the other cities surveyed.

Nightmares in Newcastle

New Research shows that Newcastle is plagued by nightmares more than anywhere else in the UK. Research shows that Newcastle suffers from bad dreams more than anywhere else in the UK (18.2%) with the chilly temperature (35.1%) and snoring partners (19.5%) being high on the list as sleep deterrents too.

Plymouth Tops the List for Most Restless Sleepers

The research revealed that although Plymouth tops the list for people falling to sleep as soon as their head hits the pillow (16.7%) they also are top of the table for restlessness – a whopping 20.9% of respondents stated that they wake up 4 times or more in the night.

Surfing and Snoring Ruins Scotland's Slumber

The research revealed that Edinburgh was particularly affected by snoring partners – the city topped the list with a high proportion of respondents complaining that this played havoc with sleeping patterns (23.9%). Glasgow also topped the list but when it came to not being able to switch off from social media – almost a quarter of people (21.6%) cited checking their mobile phone or tablet as the last thing they do before they go to sleep, which contributes to sleeping problems.

Sheffield Tops the List for Dirty Sheets

5.5% of Sheffield residents admitted they never changed their sheets – the highest percentage in the UK.

Based on the findings, we've created the definitive formula to ensure that you get a truly natural night's sleep.

Regular bedtime routine + clean sheets + good quality breathable mattress + adequate bedding for the time of year + a good book - blue screens such as mobiles and tablets - caffeinated drinks before bed = over 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep

“The bedroom should be reserved for sleep only.” Says Naturalmat sleep expert Christabel Majendie. “Working, eating, talking on the phone and using the computer or mobile phones are daytime activities, which will weaken your associations with the bedroom and sleep and cause you to have a more disturbed night.”

“Our research revealed that those that didn’t change their sheets regularly (less than every 3 weeks) got 2 hours less sleep than those that do. Each night, we produce up to a liter of sweat. In addition, the human body produces millions of dead skin cells during the night providing a breeding ground for dust mites that feed off these dead cells. As well as these hygiene and odour issues, having a clean, comfortable bed will make you feel more relaxed, making it more likely you will drop off to sleep quickly.”

“Interestingly a high number of our respondents said that both temperature and pain or discomfort was the main cause of their waking up in the night” continues Christabel. “A good quality mattress that suits your personal taste is the best way to avoid nightly aches and pains. A firmer mattress may suit some people, while a softer springier mattress may be better suited to others. More giving mattresses tend to suit larger people or those who sleep on their sides as the mattress needs to give more to the contours of the body. “Around a fifth of Brits also said the temperature in the room is enough to wake them during the night and disturb their sleep. Investing in a mattress that is made from organic breathable fibre such as lambswool, cashmere and mohair is one way that you can regulate temperature so you don’t get too hot or too cold in the night. Natural fibres are better at regulating body temperature, keeping sleepers warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Compared to man-made fibres they disperse more moisture such as sweat, keeping you dry and comfortable.” - Take a look at why we use the incredible materials we do here.

For more of Christabel's Sleep Tips and how you can drift off that little bit easier tonight, take a look at our natural night's sleep advice.

6th October 2015 - Naturalmat