People are under-sleeping by an average of almost an hour every night – losing an entire night’s sleep over the course of a week, warns The Royal Society for Public Health.
An RSPH poll shows that people feel getting enough sleep is the second most important activity for optimising their health, ahead of eating five fruit and vegetables a day, undertaking enough physical activity, and sticking to alcohol guidelines. The poll of 2,000 adults also reveals:
• average sleep time is 6.8 hours, below the average 7.7 hours people feel they need
• more than half (54%) have felt stressed as a result of poor sleep.
Experts are now calling for the introduction of national sleep guidance time – ‘a slumber number’ – to help inform people about the critical importance of sleep to wellbeing.
The RSPH says we need to wake up to the benefits of sleep. There is a wealth of evidence that lack of sleep is damaging to your health and is associated with a range of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart attack and depression.