Belfast Telegraph

Bad snooze for Belfast: we're not sleeping enough

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

When it comes to peaceful slumber the people of Belfast are among the most sleep-deprived in the UK.

Shut-eye, 40 winks, slumberland, or sleep – whatever you call it, we all need it, but it's clear some are getting more than others, according to a new survey of 2,000 adults by hotel chain Travelodge.

Sleep boffins recommend eight hours of sleep per night, but 73% of adults living in Northern Ireland's biggest city are getting just six hours and 17 minutes, some 10 minutes (or a snooze button's difference) less that the average UK adult and one hour and 43 minutes below the recommended daily quota.

The best sleepers are found in the historic Welsh market town of Aberystwyth, where lucky men and woman enjoy a cool seven hours and 30 minutes of sleep per night.

Money worries, family issues, work stress, job security worries and unfinished household chores are said to be keeping people awake at night, when they should be recharging their batteries for the day ahead.

Last night a spokeswoman for Travelodge told the Belfast Telegraph 38% of people in the city are getting less sleep now than they did a year ago.

And apparently 28% of beds in Belfast are left unmade every morning because their occupants are too tired to make them.

Belfast FashionWeek director Cathy Martin says she rarely gets eight hours sleep a night.

"I usually only sleep between five and six hours per night during the week and seven at the weekends," she said.

"I get a lot of work done when the house is quiet and everyone else is in bed."

Broadcaster and mother-of-two Emma-Louise Johnston is getting around three hours sleep per night at the moment as she is breastfeeding her six-week-old son JJ.

"I've been an insomniac since I was kid and usually get five hours a night, and even that can be broken up," she said.

"It worked wonders when I was with GMTV but it can make you lose your mind a bit."

Meanwhile, Belfast-based model and actress Diona Doherty said she and comedian boyfriend Sean Hegarty find themselves napping to catch up on lost sleep.

She added: "Myself and my boyfriend, we sleep unsociable hours as we tend to work a lot of nights between gigs and shows."

FACTFILE

THE UK'S TOP 5 WORST SLEEPERS

Coventry: Six hours and five minutes

Brighton: Six hours and 15 minutes

Belfast: Six hours and 17 minutes

Manchester: Six hours and 18 minutes

Liverpool: Six hours and 21 minutes

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