One-third of people ‘get less than six hours sleep a night’

Ikea-commissioned survey also reveals that almost half of couples sleep back-to-back

One-third of Irish people are getting less than six hours sleep a night, a new survey has revealed.

The sleep survey, which was commissioned by Swedish retailer Ikea and designed by paediatric sleep consultant Lucy Wolfe, also found that almost half of couples sleep back-to-back with their partners.

Meanwhile, four in 10 respondents claimed they have to use sleeping aids.

Blackout blinds were the most widely used (28 per cent of respondents), while just five per cent used ear plugs.

The survey was carried out among 1,000 Irish adults, selected to represent a wide range of areas and social classes.

It also revealed:

- Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents said they use TV to relax before bed. Just in excess of half (54 per cent) said they check social media and almost one-quarter (23 per cent ) said they play computer games before hitting the hay;

- Pyjamas are the most common item of clothing worn in bed, with nearly four in 10 adults wearing them. One in five respondents said they wear just their underwear to bed, while one in seven preferred to sleep naked, and,

- A partner’s snoring is very likely to impact on someone’s sleep. Almost half of all of those who regularly share a bed claimed a partner’s snoring impacts negatively on their sleep.

Social media

The survey did not ask respondents if they watched TV, checked social media or played computer games while in bed.

Ms Wolfe said such behaviour is very destructive to sleeping patterns.

“The blue light from screens can keep people awake, and when they eventually do drop off, the quality of that sleep can be impaired,” she said.

“The overall knock-on effect of a good night’s sleep can be dramatic - enhancing all areas of health and wellbeing,” said Ms Wolfe, who recommended not using “gadgets” in the hour before bed.

Ms Wolfe said it was important to establish “positive sleep practices” in order to ensure a good night’s rest.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist