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Iceni Magazine | July 3, 2020

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Nightmare nation: These are the top places in the UK for bad dreams

nightmare map

The North East and Birmingham topped a new study that reveals where people experience the most frequent nightmares, as well as showing the UK’s poor sleep quality.

247 Blinds carried out a survey of 1000 people to find out more about the nation’s sleep habits, turning the results into a heat map of the country.

Regionally, the worst affected location was the North East where a quarter suffer from frequent nightmares. Bad dreams are among the worst in Newcastle where nearly one in five respondents having less than sweet slumbers.

The East Midlands (21%) and Yorkshire (18%) were also high on the list for nightmare frequency, but it was Birmingham that came out as the city where bad dreams are most frequent with 22% of inhabitants.

Where pleasant dreams were concerned, Scotland was the place that experienced nightmares the least, with 77% of Scots rarely or infrequently having them. On a city level, Southampton came out as the city of dreams with 80% having infrequent nightmares.

Across the UK nearly a third (30%) of people described their sleep as ‘poor’, with 34% of women likely to have low quality sleep compared to just 24% of men.

On a city level, Newcastle had the best quality snoozes, with 52% of residents stating they have a good or very good quality of sleep. Sheffield and Glasgow came out in pole position for the worst cities to catch forty winks, with only 28% of people saying they get a good or very good quality of sleep. 

The survey uncovered some alarming bad habits before bed across the country. More than one in ten typically drink alcohol before bed while one in six (18%) use a smartphone before going to sleep and almost a quarter (24%) use a computer.

Sleep expert Maryanne Taylor from The Sleep Works offered her advice as a response to these findings: “Stress and anxiety can be a huge factor in our sleep and raised adrenalin levels can inhibit the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin which is essential for restful sleep.

“Ensure you have a relaxing lead up to bedtime – switch off all screens for an hour before bed, have a bath, write a to do list for next day, keep lights dim, listen to music or read a book.”

Ms Taylor also commented on eating habits before bedtime: “Eat a light, low carbohydrate dinner in the evening and not too close to bedtime.  Heavy, spicy meals eaten too late can upset the digestive system at night.”

When it came to helping getting to sleep, listening to music (19%), taking sleeping medication (17%) and using a blackout blind (17%) were the most popular aids.

Jason Peterkin, Director of 247 Blinds, who commissioned the survey, said: “We commissioned the survey to highlight how important a good night’s sleep is, and what people can do to help themselves achieve that. Our expertise is in blackout blinds, which are an ideal solution to one of the major problems we found – light pollution.”


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