By the time adults reach age 55 and over, only three percent say they get a good night’s rest – with over half saying they ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ get a good night’s sleep
Image: Ute Grabowsky/Photothek/Getty Images)
Brits enjoy their best sleep at the age of 24 – but it soon deteriorates after that, according to a study.
Nearly half of adults reckon they slept better during their youth, and only 24 percent think it has improved as they’ve aged.
In fact, more than half (55 percent) of the 2,000 people polled by health and wellness company dōTERRA said they “rarely” or “never” get enough sleep.
The most common obstacles to a good night’s sleep are family worries, work stresses and room temperature, the research found.
Sleep expert Dr. Lindsay Browning said: “As the findings suggest, the quality of our sleep can be impacted by a number of things, and there are likely several reasons why younger people may enjoy their sleep more than older people, including level of fitness.
“It might also be possible to surmise from the findings that post 25 years of age, life becomes more stressful. This added anxiety could explain why sleep may not be as good after our youth.
“We have a lot of distractions to keep us busy, and that’s another reason people aren’t getting enough sleep – maybe people just aren’t prioritising it.”
The study found 37 percent of those polled had the worst sleep of their life between the ages of 25 to 54.
Only four percent said they got a good night’s rest when aged 45 to 54, a figure which dropped to three percent for those aged 55 and over.
And while 84 percent describe sleep as “very important”, over half (54 percent) believe they need less of it as they get older.
Despite this, only 14 percent get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night.
Almost a third get seven hours of sleep a night, while a quarter get six hours of sleep, and 24 percent survive on five hours or less.
Nearly 90 percent of those polled blamed stress – including family, work, and financial worries – for keeping them awake.
Others said they struggle due to the temperature of their rooms, too much screen time before bed, noise, menopause, eating a large meal, and drinking coffee late in the day.
Interestingly, almost a quarter added going to bed too late prevented them from nodding off – suggesting their night-time routine might be a factor.
However, the routines of others can also have a detrimental effect – as 22 percent said their partner’s sleep habits have ruined their sleep, while 14 percent are regularly woken by their children.
In addition, nearly three in ten said they had to wake early to take care of their family, exercise and do housework.
While many of those polled endure sleep struggles, the study carried out through OnePoll found 38 percent have set routines they follow every night with the sole aim of sleeping well.
One in ten spend upwards of an hour prepping – getting their heads in the right place to sleep well.
Nearly six in ten consider reading to be the ideal activity to help them fall asleep.
Isabel Bicanic, from dōTERRA, added: “We’ve long been aware of the need to look after our bodies – something in which sleep plays a key role.
“It’s only been relatively recently, however, that there’s been a greater awareness of looking after our minds too. And again, sleep plays a crucial role in this.
“If we can take care of our sleep, there’s a strong argument to suggest everything else follows. A good night’s sleep allows you to process things better and have more clarity.
“You’ll also have more energy for exercise, which by itself has benefits for body and mind.”
The research also revealed other relaxation techniques common among Britons before bed – such as drinking herbal tea, soaking in the bath, getting a massage, burning scented candles, meditating, using essential oils, and listening to music and podcasts.
Their motivations for such methods are clear, as those polled blame a lack of sleep on feeling irritable, demotivated, and deflated.
They also said it impacts their ability to concentrate, and ultimately their ability to “live life to the fullest”.
A fifth of Brits also said sleeplessness has a harmful effect on their skin, while 42 percent admitted they struggled to get up in the mornings.
On a related note, 42 percent said they despised getting up in winter darkness, with the same number burdened with a low mood at the thought of the day ahead.
Top 5 things keeping Brits tossing and turning
- Family stress
- Work stress
- Room temperature
- Financial worries
- Too much screen time