The average adult suffers nine bad nights’ sleep per month – but over half feel there is a lack of support for people with sleep issues
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A charity has launched the UK’s first dedicated helpline for people who struggle to sleep.
The average UK adult suffers nine bad nights’ sleep per month – equating to around 500 million across the country each month, but there is limited support.
To combat the problem, The Sleep Charity has teamed up with high street retailer Furniture Village to launch a national helpline providing assistance to anyone with sleep difficulties.
It will be operated by specialist, trained advisors between 7pm and 9pm five days a week, Sunday to Thursday.
They will provide callers with helpful tips and advice so they can identify appropriate strategies, talk through their problems and try and point them in the direction of other organisations and services for specialist or long-term support.
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It follows a survey of 2,000 UK adults by Furniture Village which looked at the dangerous and worrying consequences of a bad night’s sleep – with more than a quarter (28 percent) saying it had affected their mental health.
This figure rose to 50 per cent of those aged 18 to 24.
Half of respondents said a bad night’s sleep affected their motivation, with 30 percent suffering sore eyes and 29 percent had aching joints as a result.
And 15 percent have taken several days off work over the past three months because of bad sleep.
Worryingly, the public is just as likely to drink alcohol to help themselves nod off (18 percent) as they are to buy sleep remedies found in pharmacies and supermarkets.
Overall, more than half (57 percent) of respondents feel there is a lack of support for people with sleep issues.
Lisa Artis, Deputy CEO of The Sleep Charity, said: “It’s clear that the great British public is in the midst of a sleep crisis which is affecting national mental health, work performance and even leading to alcohol misuse.
“Almost 60 percent of those surveyed felt that there was a lack of support for their sleep issues, which is why we have partnered with Furniture Village to set up the UK’s first National Sleep Helpline.
“Together we want to ensure that everyone has access to high quality, evidence-based advice regardless of age, ethnicity, background or income.”
Poor sleep also has an impact in the workplace – with 41 percent refusing to turn their camera on for a work call because of a bad night’s sleep.
Four in ten (42 percent) are regularly drinking caffeine-based drinks to make up for a lack of shuteye – having four per day on average.
Overall, almost half (48 percent) of those polled via OnePoll think companies should offer support for staff who have trouble sleeping.
And a third (35 percent) say their sleep issues and those of their children make them feel lonely and isolated.
The helpline will be available to anyone experiencing sleep difficulties, with the team listening to callers with empathy and providing evidence-based sleep information.
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Dr Ranj Singh, Sleep and Wellness Ambassador for Furniture Village, said: “Sleep is as integral to our wellbeing as diet and exercise, and it’s concerning to see just how many people are struggling with issues relating to a lack of it.
“A tired society is a grouchy, unproductive and unhealthy society and there isn’t enough support for people who sit wide awake in the early hours.
“Giving the nation access to expert sleep advice an incredible way to tackle this countrywide issue and we’re proud to be partnering with The Sleep Charity to help facilitate it.”
Charlie Harrison, commercial director at Furniture Village, added: “Sleep is one of the most important things for a healthy lifestyle and that is why I’m delighted to be partnering with our friends at The Sleep Charity to help make the Sleep Helpline a reality.
“Our research shows that millions of people around the UK are struggling to sleep, especially following the recent pandemic and we hope that with the launch of the UK’s first dedicated sleep help line, we can make a tangible difference to the wellbeing of those in search of help and guidance.”
People looking for help and support from the sleep helpline, which launches today, should call 03303 530 541.