Society Magazine

Top 20: The Things That Keep Us Awake at Night

Posted on the 18 March 2015 by 72point @72hub

A snoring partner, battling with a cold and worrying about finances are among the top reasons Brits can’t get to sleep, new research has shown.

Researchers who studied 2,000 adults found a whopping nine in ten are consistently plagued with disturbed or sleepless nights – mostly due to anxiety and worrying.

Money concerns proved to be the top cause of insomnia, with other big contributors being pressure at work and arguing with a partner before bed.

The study found suffering with ill health, uncomfortable bedding and being woken by restless children were also to blame.

A spokesperson for homeware and bedding specialists Dunelm, which commissioned the research said: “Often it seems a good amount of sleep is something we all want, but just can’t get.

“It’s important to treat our bed times with as much care as we do our waking life.

“This means winding down a good half hour before we want to sleep.

“Ensuring our bedroom environment is a calm and tidy place is also a must.”

The research showed Sunday to be the worst night for night-time disturbances, with a weary Monday night also proving restless.

But the rest of the week provides little respite – the average adult can’t sleep around three nights a week, said the study, and typically manages a mere four hours of shut-eye each time.

As well as money worries, the prime reasons for tossing and turning were sleeping in an uncomfortable temperature, mulling over family matters or having a severe cough or cold.

Street commotion such as barking dogs and car alarms were also to blame for wreaking havoc with bedtime, with drunken passers-by also causing distress.

In fact, the general neighbourhood noise was highlighted as a problem for one in ten adults, whose arguing or partying neighbours were named as another reason they never get a peaceful night.

However, a noisy neighbor a bit closer to home was a snoring spouse, which almost one third of adults admitted they struggle to share a bed with.

Making up the list of sleep disturbances was unfinished paperwork and life admin, having an argument before bed time and lying on a bad back.

British weather was another cause for concern, as heavy rain on the windows and thunder storms were deemed responsible for keeping 16 per cent of adults awake.

Uncomfortable bedding was also to blame, as many adults said flat or lumpy pillows and a broken mattress often lead to aching muscles and joints – another cause for disturbed sleep.

When it came to easing the problem, almost a quarter of the adults polled said they turn to technology during bouts of insomnia, relying on TV, tablets and the internet to lull them to sleep.

But a bout of forty winks seems the Holy Grail for over half of adults, who said they almost never sleep a full night without being disturbed.

The spokesperson added: “Though it’s hard to ignore all the issues and unresolved jobs we have to deal with, making sure we’re comfortable at night is a starting point.

“A decent mattress in particular can contribute to a deeper sleep, as well as things like noise-reducing blackout blinds to prevent light and noise keeping us awake – especially as we move into the summer months.”

Dunelm’s ‘Sleep Sheep’ campaign launches today. For more information visit

1. Money worries
2. Being too hot or cold
3. Snoring partner
4. Family matters
5. A bad cough or cold
6. Aching joints and muscles
7. Dogs barking
8. Car alarms
9. An aching back
10. Argument with partner before bed
11. Rain/storms outside
12. Incomplete household jobs/admin
13. Needing a drink
14. Thinking about work pressures
15. Drunk/partying people on the street
16. Broken or dipping mattress
17. Children waking up
18. Loud neighbours
19. Pets
20. Lumpy or flat pillow

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sleep full

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