Insomniac Britain: Sales of sleeping aids soar 20% in a yearSleep data shows London is the insomnia capitalSales of sleeping aids have soared by 20 per centOne in five Britons admits to only getting an average of two hours sleep on a Sunday nightRise of iPads in bedroom partly explains the problem
11:52 GMT, 11 March 2013
13:43 GMT, 11 March 2013
Did you wake up this morning feeling groggy and tired If so, you are not alone.
Chemists have reported a sharp rise in the demand for off-the-shelf sleeping aids.
Figures released by online pharmacy, Chemist Direct, show that sales of products such as Nytol, Bach Rescue Remedy Night Spray, and Kalms herbal tablets, rose by 20 per cent in the six months to March, compared to the same period last year, and by 36 per cent compared to September to March 2010-11.
Chemists have reported a 20 per cent rise in the demand for off-the-shelf sleeping aids
London tops the league table of sleepless towns and cities as the insomniac capital of Britain.
Manchester and Glasgow were second and third in the list.
All of the top ten insomnia hotspots were found to be major cities or towns and the list included Newcastle, Liverpool and Sheffield.
Experts say that people are increasingly struggling to sleep because of the rise of the 24/7 society.
Technology, such as mobile phones and iPads, ‘creeping’ into the bedroom as people continue to work late into the evenings is also thought to contribute to the problem.
‘It’s not surprising that people are increasingly struggling to sleep, with our busy lifestyles, worries with the recession, and long working hours, it can be difficult to switch off,’ said Omar El-Gohary, Superintendent Pharmacist at Chemist Direct.
‘Some of our customers have told us they work from their computers in bed. We’re seeing the rise of the duvet desk.’
Last month a study by the Lighting Research Centre at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, concluded that using an iPad for two hours before bedtime harms your sleep.
TOP TEN SLEEPLESS HOTSPOTS IN BRITAIN
It said that using an iPad set at maximum brightness for at least two hours suppresses the normal night-time release of melatonin – a crucial hormone in the body's clock.
The increase in people working late into the night from their beds may also be down to the pressure of the economic climate.
A recent report by Travelodge, based on the sleep patterns of 6,000 adults, said that Britons have lost almost an hour's sleep a night during the recession with money worries and work related stress being cited as the main reasons.
This is supported by a survey of 500 customers carried out by Chemist Direct, asking how many hours a sleep they think they get each night of the week. One in five admitted they sleep less than two hours on an average Sunday night.
‘Being overtired from cramming too much into the weekend, recovering from a hangover and worrying about the week ahead, can all contribute,’ said Mr El-Gohary.
Experts say people are increasingly struggling to sleep with the rise of technology, such as mobile phones and iPads, 'creeping' into the bedroom
‘Steps people can take to help encourage sleep include avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evenings, exercising regularly but not close to bedtime, and creating a calm and relaxing environment by turning off mobile phones, televisions and iPads so they don’t creep into the bedroom.’
Mr El-Gohary and his team analysed the buying habits of Chemist Direct’s one million regular customers, and found that the numbers of new customers buying sleep aids is increasing.
‘This is not a hard-core group of people coming back time and time again, rather we’re seeing increasing numbers of new customers looking for ways to help them sleep, suggesting the pool of people finding it hard to sleep is increasing and the problem is growing.’