Which are the UK’s most sleep-deprived cities?
We all have times when we struggle to get off to sleep, or find ourselves tossing and turning throughout the night. While for some people this is pretty rare, for others it can be a nightly battle.
Over the past year, internet searches around sleep have skyrocketed, as more and more people turn to Google for answers to their sleep problems. But where are people searching the most?
We looked at the total number of Google searches made for 38 different sleep-related terms, split out across 20 of the UK’s biggest cities. As well as questions and terms related to sleep issues, like insomnia, night sweats and restless leg syndrome, we also looked at people searching for solutions, like sleep music, weighted blankets and meditation. Finally, we compared the total searches to the population of each city in our study, to give us a “searches per one million people” figure.
Here’s what we found.
The UK’s most sleep-deprived cities
Liverpool came out on top as the UK’s most sleep-deprived city, with an annual total of 161,073 searches per million people, followed by Leicester with 152,349 searches per million people. Edinburgh and Bristol came next, with 148,591 and 141,538 searches per million people respectively.
At the other end of the table, people in Manchester are having the least trouble sleeping. Despite being neighbours, it seems that Manchester doesn’t share Liverpool’s sleep woes, with an annual total of just 30,586 sleep-related searches for every million people. Middlesbrough had the next lowest total, with just 42,147 searches per million people, followed by Swansea with 42,428.
What are we searching for the most?
We then combined the total figures across our 20 sleep deprived cities, to see what we’re searching for the most as a nation.
According to our findings, people are searching for weighted blankets more than anything else, with a total of 343,920 searches over the past year. Despite not being a new invention, weighted blankets have seen a huge increase in popularity in recent years. The added pressure from the blanket is supposed to mimic the feeling of being held or hugged, which can increase the release of serotonin, causing you to
feel calm and relaxed.
Insomnia was the most searched for condition, with 298,680 people searching for information about the sleep disorder each year, followed by sleep apnoea, with 259,320 annual searches.
The UK’s Most Googled Sleep Terms
What can you do to get a better night’s sleep?
If all of this sounds familiar, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are lots of simple things you can do to improve your quality of sleep.
One of the easiest things you can do is to start following a more structured sleep cycle. Start trying to go to bed and wake up at a similar time each day – it might be difficult at first but your body will soon get used to it and appreciate the routine.
It’s also important to be mindful of how you’re spending your time before going to bed. Try to limit the amount of time you’re spending in front of a screen, whether that’s your TV, laptop or smartphone, for at least an hour before going to bed. Instead, try preparing for body for sleep with some gentle yoga, breathing exercises or meditation.
While how you spend the hour or two before bed is important, how you spend the rest of your day is equally as important when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Exercising during the day, even if just for a short amount of time, has been shown to improve sleep quality, as has eating a balanced diet.
Finally, there are a number of supplements you can take which can help improve your sleep.
Magnesium helps the body to create the sleep hormone melatonin and is said to improve measures of insomnia including sleep efficiency, sleep duration and waking time. 5HTP is a source of L-Tryptophan, naturally occurring amino acid and a precursor to serotonin, which has been linked to mood, sleep and even social behaviour.
Still struggling to sleep? Check out some of our other blog posts for helpful advice and top tips: