Britons living in deprived areas have poorer sleep quality, study finds | Sleep

People living in deprived areas of the UK have worse sleep quality than those in affluent areas, the first large-scale population-based sleep study has found.

Blacks reported the worst sleep overall, with research finding that social deprivation and ethnicity affect sleep quality, regardless of age, gender, personal wealth, occupation and occupation. education.

In their findings, published in the journal Clocks & Sleep, the researchers said people living in deprived areas reported having more trouble getting up in the morning and were more likely to nap during the day and wake up. in the middle of the night.

Professor John Groeger, Principal Investigator and Head of Sleep Well Science at Nottingham Trent University, told the Guardian: “I am extremely excited about this work and its implications.

“If sleep is really that different across the country because of where you live, then not only are entire areas of people at a sleep disadvantage, but the consequences are huge in terms of inequality.”

Regularly poor sleep can increase the risk of serious diseases, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and shorten life expectancy. Research has shown that it can also contribute to mental health issues.

“There are strong implications of sleeping poorly – everything from being more likely to catch a cold to compromised mortality. There are also educational outcomes – children who sleep poorly are less successful at school, so it’s a big job, and sleep deserves serious consideration.

The study, in collaboration with psychologists from the University of Roehampton, analyzed data from around 500,000 people aged 40 to 69 from the UK Biobank, an online database of medical and lifestyle records. British life.

They collected reports of sleep problems such as people sleeping too long or too little for their age, waking up at night, waking up too early, snoring, daytime sleepiness and difficulty getting up in the morning.

The results showed that almost a third of people in the study reported sleeping shorter (24.7%) or longer (7.7%) than the recommended sleep durations for these age groups, both of which are associated with an increased risk of mortality.

The researchers also found that white people (82.4%) considered getting up in the morning easier than black people (74.4%), Asians (73.5%) or people of different ethnicities. mixed (74.2%).

Percentage reporting different nighttime sleep durations, by wealth level and ethnicity

Groeger said that although the study did not examine the causes of sleep deprivation in disadvantaged areas, previous research had shown that contributing factors were overcrowding, noise, air pollution and light.

“We know a key factor is overcrowding, when you have multiple people in a room or multiple people in a house,” he said. “What we’re saying is if you look at the area people live in, basically their postcode, that in itself, beyond income, beyond whether you’re single or married, old or young, has the greatest impact on your quality of sleep.

He said the study showed the best sleepers were men, young, well-off, educated, living with others in the home they own, with a high income, multiple vehicles and long-term jobs.

The team said those who were employed or retired reported better sleep quality than those who were unemployed or unable to work.

Researchers used the data to create the Problematic Sleep Index, a one-of-a-kind tool that combines all sleep issues explored into a single measure that can be used in community health care settings to support those who have poor quality of sleep.

“We could say that these 100 ZIP codes in the country are more likely than not to have people sleeping poorly and create a much more socially conscious type of nuanced message around sleep,” Groeger said. “It also gives us the ability to estimate a person’s sleep quality based on their age, gender, zip code, and a few sleep-related questions.”

He added that he hopes the results could be used to launch more targeted sleep education programs that explain the range of factors that can have an impact.

“It takes us away from this notion that ‘If I get my eight, I’m fine.’ It’s just utter nonsense,” he said. “There’s no magic number. The number is different for all of us. It’s different for us between the ages of 20 and 60. The number is not only what counts in sleep.

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