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How well do you sleep?

Members of the public are losing out on up to a night of sleep every week, according to a national survey. We asked Cardiffians for their ‘slumber number’.

A woman covers her face with a duvet

The average British adult fell short of the minimum recommended seven hours by 42 minutes nightly in 2017. While many would consider 40 minutes a mere power nap, missing out at night could be more harmful than you think.

“There is a strong relationship between sleep and physical and mental health and not getting enough sleep has a profound impact on our ability to function,” said Dr Justin Varney in an article for Public Health England.

As reported by Bupa, the top five reasons for the UK’s lack of sleep included thinking about work, noisy surroundings, relationships, electronic devices and caffeine.

Similar trends in this year’s data has the Royal Society for Public Health calling for the introduction of a national sleep strategy, with sleep education to be covered in the national curriculum. We took to the streets to find out about how Cardiff sleeps.

Deborah, 38, housewife

“I’ll average about an hour a night. I don’t get enough sleep because of the neighbours. Loud. It’ll be ten o’clock, just about to go to sleep and that’ll be it. It’s ridiculous, my partner hears them over the phone! They were moving furniture at four o’clock in the morning.”

Ben, 26, horticulturist

“I get enough sleep, maybe not on the weekends. At night I’m not really a TV person, I’m a music person, and I smoke a lot of cannabis to go to sleep.”

Gareth, 49, scientist with daughter Millie, 11

“I don’t get enough sleep. My eight hours is broken up by people waking up in the night and needing things. I’m really good at going to sleep. Bit of a read, put the book down, switch off and sleep. I’m rubbish in the mornings, I hate getting up, and I need coffee to keep me awake.”

Susan, 74, retiree

“I’m a dreadful sleeper, actually. I think I’ve got too much on my mind. I go to bed and it takes ages to get to sleep, and then I wake up about half past three. I’m restless till about six o’clock. I’m ready to get up then. By lunch I get very tired and if I sit in a chair I’ll go off in about half an hour! I’ve got to nap, otherwise I’m shattered.”

Jack, 24, gym manager

“I’m more of an early night, early morning sort of guy. I sort of get to sleep about, you’ll laugh, between nine and ten at night and then wake up at six. So, what’s that, an average nine or eight hours-worth? I’m quite happy with that to be honest. Personally, I find it hard to stay up at night.”

Kaylee, 17, college student (left) with friend Cerys, 15 (right)

“I’d say on average six or seven hours. Sometimes it’s hard, but I like to get up in the mornings. No matter when I go to sleep, I’ll always wake up early.”