This city has some of the doziest locals in the UK

Oxford is home to the sleepiest residents in the UK, according to a study.

Research of 2,000 adults from the top 20 cities found those in the ‘city of dreaming spires’ feel tired the most often (67 per cent) – putting it straight in the top spot.

People in Cardiff followed closely behind, with 63 per cent of locals regularly feeling tired, and Cambridge came in third place at 62 per cent.

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Plymouth and Birmingham completed the top five sleepiest cities, while Newcastle came bottom of the list with just 48 per cent of its residents frequently feeling fatigued.

In response to these findings, an on-the-street test has appeared in Oxford challenging residents on their responsiveness to see how many lights they can hit in 30 seconds – rating them from ‘practically snoring’ to ‘top snoozer’.

Silentnight was behind the sleep-o-meter test and also commissioned the study.

Its team were on hand to giveaway free mattresses to some of the sleepiest on the day, and offer advice to help them as the clocks go forward for British Summer Time.

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Hannah Shore, sleep expert at Silentnight, and who studied sleep medicine at Oxford University, said: “It’s not hugely surprising to see some of the most well-known university cities in the top spot for sleepiest residents, but there are some simple steps locals can take to feel more well rested.

“Comfort and routine are key, so be sure to create a wind-down routine in the evening and ensure your space is as restful as it can be - with comfortable bedding, dim lighting, and the right temperature. Just one night of bad sleep can have a big impact on our day-to-day, whether that’s slower reaction times, reduced concentration levels, or even making us a little more snappy than usual.”

Members of public using Silentnight sleep-o-meter on streets of Oxford to put their tiredness to the testMembers of public using Silentnight sleep-o-meter on streets of Oxford to put their tiredness to the test
Members of public using Silentnight sleep-o-meter on streets of Oxford to put their tiredness to the test | Will Ireland/PinPep

Feeling 'human' again

With 56 per cent of the nation often feeling tired, 31 per cent don’t think they typically get enough sleep.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) blame always being on the go for their exhaustion, while long working hours and the weather are also cited as the main causes for feeling this way.

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Late afternoon is when the average person feels the most lethargic (3.47pm), and drinking coffee seems to be the go-to solution to help people feel more awake. 

This is followed by having a nap, going for a walk, and splashing their face with water.

The average adult says ‘I’m tired’ three times a day, with 36 per cent finding themselves yawning on a regular basis. However, 42 per cent agree they are ‘generally just a tired person’.

Lack of sleep seems to be a big mood trigger for 20 per cent and has led to 34 per cent forgetting what they were going to say during a conversation. What’s more, 28 per cent are more likely to eat junk food if they are tired, and 24 per cent admit to having previously cried without any explanation.

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The study also found 40 per cent are alarm snoozers, with the average person hitting snooze three times before finally getting out of bed.

It takes an average of 30 minutes before those polled feel ‘human’ again after waking up in the morning, with a hot shower, making the bed, and a cup of tea voted among the ‘absolute musts’ within the first hour of getting up to help set them up for the day.

Hannah Shore added: “Sleep is so important for physical recovery but it’s also vital for our brains. Light sleep in particular, helps our memory, learning and with processing our emotions, but it’s often the stage we lose out on when we’re not getting enough sleep.”

As people across the UK adjust to the clock’s going forward, Hannah has shared her three top tips for the sleepiest Brits:

  1. Brush up your bedtime routine - Whether it’s taking a warm shower, reading a good book or meditating, taking time to unwind after a busy day will make it easier for you to get to sleep. When you have a consistent routine in place, you’ll see that your sleep patterns are more stable and you’re able to have a decent night’s sleep more often.
  2. Skip the snooze - Pressing snooze and trying to squeeze in those few extra minutes can actually leave you feeling worse as you repeat the interrupted sleep cycle again. Instead, pop a light on to prompt your body to stop producing sleep hormones and start producing wake hormones.
  3. Let the light in - If you feel yourself battling to keep your eyes open during the day, bright light can really help to wake you up, so try to get outside for ten minutes or sit by a window.

The UK’s 20 sleepiest cities

  1. Oxford
  2. Cardiff
  3. Cambridge
  4. Plymouth
  5. Birmingham
  6. Liverpool
  7. Southampton
  8. Sheffield
  9. Edinburgh
  10. Brighton
  11. Norwich
  12. London
  13. Bristol
  14. Glasgow
  15. Leeds
  16. Leicester
  17. Manchester
  18. Belfast
  19. York
  20. Newcastle

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