Six in ten Britons have suffered worse sleep since lockdown began with 16 to 24-year-olds more likely to report changes to their sleeping patterns and fewer hours in bed

  • Half of adults are having more difficulty sleeping than usual during pandemic
  • People whose finances have been affected are suffering most sleepless nights
  • Survey of 2,254 adults by King’s College London revealed the changes 

Six in ten Britons have suffered from worse sleep since lockdown began, with 16 to 24-year-olds more likely to say they are getting fewer hours than usual.

The survey of 2,254 adults conducted in May by King’s College London, also found half of adults are having more disturbed sleep and almost two in five (38 per cent) are experiencing more vivid dreams.

Women are suffering more than men, with 52 per cent reporting disturbed sleep compared to 46 per cent.

Additionally, 39 per cent of adults said they are getting less sleep than normal, while others said they felt far less rested after more sleep.

The change in sleeping patterns is down to the pandemic, experts said, with stress from how we fear it will impact our employment and finances keeping us up at night.

Survey of sleeping patterns was conducted in May by King’s College London (stock photo)

The survey also revealed that a third of those aged 35 or over are sleeping less following lockdown’s start on March 23.

People whose finances have been affected are suffering the most sleepless nights, with 62 per cent saying their sleep is more disturbed than normal.  

Those who find coronavirus stressful are much more likely than those who do not to have experienced negative sleep impacts, the authors added.

Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute at King’s College London, told MailOnline: ‘We know that disturbed sleep is related to increased stress and disruption in other aspects of life, and it’s clear from other questions in the survey that young people are suffering more.

‘They’ve also been most likely to lose their jobs, or feel they’re under threat, and are finding the lack of social contact with others more difficult than other age groups.’ 

He added: ‘Nearly two-thirds of the UK public report some negative impact on their sleep from the Covid-19 crisis, clearly showing just how unsettling the pandemic and lockdown measures have been for a very large proportion us.

It also found that those who have suffered impacts on their employment or finances during the pandemic are most likely to be suffering sleepless nights (stock photo)

‘And this is clearly tied to both how stressful we’ve found the virus itself, and how much we fear the impact of the lockdown on our employment and finances.

‘Young people in particular have experienced the most impact on their sleep, for good and bad – they are more likely than older people to say they’ve experienced negative impacts on their sleep, but also more likely to say they’ve slept better.’

The poll comes as new research highlights how levels of anxiety and depression have fallen as lockdown has eased.

Experts at University College London (UCL) are tracking more than 90,000 people on how the pandemic is affecting their wellbeing and mental health.

Lead author, Dr Daisy Fancourt from UCL’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, said: ‘It is encouraging that levels of anxiety and depression have both fallen as lockdown has eased. 

‘However, the levels being reported by participants are still worse than usual reported averages.’

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