The 2016 UK Sleep Survey Results

Ever wondered whether your sleeping habits are normal? How the North sleeps compared to the South?

Dreams have conducted a sleep survey of over 15,000 UK Adults to determine how the nation sleeps.

Hit the start button to see the most interesting results from the survey. For a more detailed breakdown of the results, find our contact details at the bottom of this page.

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The Respondents

We surveyed 15,203 UK adults during the course of The Biggest Sleep Survey, which ran from 22/6/2016 to 19/7/2016. The regional breakdown of those respondents can be seen here, and aim to be representative of the UK as a whole.

  1. Scotland | 7.7% | 1178
  2. Northern Ireland | 2.0% | 311
  3. North East | 6.0% | 769
  4. Yorkshire & Humber | 8.5% | 1205
  5. North West | 11.8% | 1807
  6. London | 10.9% | 1660
  7. South East | 14.8% | 2264
  8. Wales | 5.0% | 773
  9. South West | 7.9% | 1206
  10. West Midlands | 8.2% | 1261
  11. East of England | 7.9% | 1206

15,203 respondents

Age & Gender Breakdown

2/3 of the respondents are female. The age split has a slight weighting to 55+, compensated by a lower-than-average group of 18-24s.

15,203 respondents

In-Bed Activities

On average, UK residents spend 5 hours 5 minutes a week in bed either watching TV, watching a DVD/film or working. This average is stretched by the anomaly of people from the capital who spend 7 hours 43 minutes a week on these activities, a whole 2 hours 57 minutes more than the rest of the UK average (4 hours 45 minutes).

We asked everyone how long they spent on each of a range of activities, grouping the results into activities using blue light and activities which don’t. Blue light activities consist of using devices which emit blue light, for example a laptop, tablet, phone or TV. We can see that users spend on average 37 minutes 19 seconds more on blue light device activities a week than they do on non-blue light device in-bed activities.


Passions are running high in the capital where Londoners have more in-bed arguments than the rest of country. With an average of 2.3 arguments with their partners per week and 2 arguments per week with their children, Londoners have a massive 7 times more arguments per week than the rest of the UK.

Maybe the arguments are over quickly with a cuddle to make up, Londoners have the most cuddles with their partners per week at 5.6. The same applies for cuddles with their children which is highest at 3.1 per week.

Sleep Quality

63.1% of people are unhappy with the amount of sleep they get with only 8% of people saying that always wake up feeling refreshed. Anxiety may be a key factor in sleep quality with 74% of people admitting that they actively worry about not getting a good night’s sleep.

Women are 14.6% more likely than men to feel they don’t get adequate sleep.

Night-Time Annoyances

Apparently, displeasing dreams can actually have an effect on real life. Women are more likely to react badly to their dreams, compared to men. 27.2% confessed to either being in a bad mood, falling out with, or even breaking up with their partners as a result of something their partner did in their dreams. This compares to just 14.8% of male partners who have done the same.

Women are also more irritable in bed, in general. Women are 43.6% more likely to get annoyed at their partner during the night. To find out about those night-time annoyances, we asked both genders the most irritating thing their partner does overnight.

Pets in the bed

People in Scotland are the most likely to allow pets into their beds, with 37.4%% of Scots saying they allow it. This is slightly higher than respondents in London (35.6%).

Bedside Accompaniments

The items that people have by their beds have a huge generational difference, with the older generations having a traditional alarm clock in place of the omnipresent smartphone alarm.

Replace Every 8

At Dreams, we recommend that mattresses should be replaced every 8 years to help maintain their comfort, support and hygiene. However, 22.7% of people have had their mattresses for over 8 years.

The Bed Spread

As well as mattresses, a significant amount of the UK population have owned their bedding for well over the recommended periods.
7.9% of people have had their pillows for over 8 years.
11% of people have had their duvet for over 8 years.
18.3% of people have had their sheets for over 8 years.

Hygiene in bed

The UK has some questionable bedtime hygiene. Despite bed sheets requiring a weekly change, the UK population, on average, changes their sheets once every 40 days.

It gets worse. Added to that,
19.2% never wash in the evening
34.8% eat in bed more than once per week
24.7% Sleep Naked

% that never wash in the evening by region:

  • East of England | 21.2%
  • East Midlands | 19%
  • London | 18.6%
  • North East | 17.1%
  • North West | 18.32%
  • Northern Ireland | 17.6%
  • Scotland | 20.8%
  • South East | 19.8%
  • South West | 21.6%
  • Wales | 19%
  • West Midlands | 17.3%
  • Yorkshire & The Humber | 18.1%

On average, how often do people change their sheets? Once every 40 days

That's all for our sleep statistics!

For more information or a further breakdown of these results, please contact our PR coordinator Lynsey by emailing [email protected]