'I'm so tired', or variations of this, are often some of the first phrases to come out of most people's mouths, every morning (or is it just the hard-working Real Homes office?). It's just become the default answer to 'How are you?', or 'What's up?' or 'Why are snoring at your desk?'.
The fact that we have World Sleep Day – a whole day dedicated to this elusive phenomenon – shows how much we value it. Running on next to no sleep is just a given for so many people and those seven to nine hours of recommended shut-eye seems like a far off dream (pun intended). So it's hardly surprising that a recent survey from online bed superstore Bedstar found that the average Brit would pay £69.20 for a blissful night's kip.
Across the UK, some Brits were willing to pay more than others – sleep is obviously highly valuable to North Westerners, who were willing to pay the most for a decent night’s rest: £90.70. East Midlanders, on the other hand, would pay the least, at just £51.20.
The survey also looked into how much workers in different fields would pay for a good night's sleep. Interestingly, despite the long and irregular hours, those in healthcare would pay the second lowest amount, at £55.30, for a solid snooze. Those who work in the energy industry said they would be willing to pay the most, £93.75, while those in hospitality valued their sleep the least, at just £51.70.
So, since forking out for some extra Zzzs is hardly a realistic solution, what are we doing to help us access better sleep?
Bedstar also asked those surveyed what steps they take to help them nod off. Almost half (49 per cent) of Brits state they’d pick up a book if they can’t sleep, and around one fifth (21 per cent) said they turn to the internet (clearly no matter how many time we are told screens are bad anyone trying to sleep, we just can't resist an aimless scroll). Amazingly, 15 per cent of people said they would get up and work instead, while eight per cent would choose to do a workout (no doubt in the hope of tiring themselves out physically), and six per cent prefer taking sleeping pills. Just one per cent of us would have a cheeky nightcap.
The survey asked how many nights per week we actually get a perfect sleep, which turned out to be just three. This means that for four nights of the week, 208 nights of a year, Brits are having an uneasy rest. At least we can be comforted by the fact that we are all in this sleep-deprived, coffee fuelled existence together.