Warren Evans study finds technology and our need to stay ‘constantly connected’ is causing Brits to lose the art of falling asleep. Glowing blue phone lights, watching TV in bed and stressing over work are all to blame, with around half of us (49%) admitting we’ve had trouble falling asleep since becoming an adult.
The study by bed experts Warren Evans found that we’re glued to screens in the run-up to bed and the last thing we do in the bedroom is actually sleep, with more than a third (36%) of us admitting we turn on a screen in bed when we’re trying to nod off.
50% of adults and a worrying 82% of 18-24 year olds take their mobile phone into bed with them. With 63% of this ‘tech generation’ in bed playing games, doing social media, sending work emails, and watching TV – these are all distractions and cause problems when it comes to falling asleep.
Almost half (40%) of adults take more than 20 minutes to fall asleep and 1 in 10 Brits aged between 18 and 24 are struggling for around an hour.
The research also showed that stress appears the be the main factor affecting a decent night’s sleep in the UK – half of us say that it keeps us from falling asleep initially, with a third of Brits then woken up by their worries during the night.
Four out of ten Brits (38%) are waking up tired at least six days a week, with 15% saying they feel groggy every single morning.
Sleep experts say we need to put our technology to bed an hour before ourselves and get back to the times when our days were more closely aligned to the natural cycle of light and dark.
“Having your phone as your bed buddy is not a good idea,” says sleep expert, Dave Gibson:
“We are so far removed from our ancestral sleep settings, it’s no wonder half of British adults struggle with sleep. Our drive to stay constantly connected with work and tech means we start and finish the day loaded with stress and adrenaline. For many, their mobile phone is last thing they see at night and the first thing they see in the morning.
“It’s important to understand more about our natural programming, enabling us to restore our factory sleep settings. Warren Evans’ sleep guide gives you step-by-step advice and helpful techniques that you can use to help you go back to basics when it comes to sleep.”
Top 5 Tips to get asleep:
1. Keep a regular sleep routine. Your brain likes habits and getting to sleep is made easier when you follow a routine. It’s a bit like when you teach a baby or a child to get to sleep. Avoid working at night for at least an hour before bedtime as it keeps your brain active, and instead try a warm bath or reading a book, or doing some meditation before bed.
2. Get back to night and day. Our circadian rhythms are based on going to sleep in the dark and waking in the light. Keep lights and technology (which emit blue light that wakes you up) dimmed in the evening. Then let sunlight into your bedroom in the morning – this signals to your body that it’s time to wake up and strengthens your circadian rhythm, making it easier to get to sleep at night. Eating a good breakfast is part of a good sleep routine as it gets your metabolism started for the day.
3. Make your bedroom like a cave: cool, dark and quiet and get your bed right. Eliminate light with black out blinds and use white noise if needed to block out street noise or your partners snoring. Use natural light alarm clocks to wake you up gently such as Lumie, and make sure you have a comfy mattress and pillow which keeps your spine in alignment.
4. Get your bedtime right, and sleep in cycles. We naturally have a sleep window between 8pm and 12pm with an optimum time of 10-11pm. We also have a set biological sleep cycle of 90 minutes, which we go through every night. You wake up more refreshed if you are at the end of a cycle. So, if you want to get up at 6.30am, count back 5 cycles or 7.5 hours and this gives you a suggested bedtime of 11pm, going to bed in the dark and waking in the light.
5. Keep technology out of your bedroom and put it to bed an hour before you do. Arguably apart from the electric light bulb, technology has had the biggest influence in disrupting our natural sleep. Not only does it emit blue light, which wakes you up, but it also has been proven to stimulate your brain, making it even harder to fall asleep easily.
(Source: Warren Evans)