Three in four adults are not getting enough sleep, report suggests

A leaked draft of the government's recommendations suggests ministers will set out stricter sleep guidelines. [Photo: Getty]
A leaked draft of the government's recommendations suggests ministers will set out stricter sleep guidelines. [Photo: Getty]

Up to three in four adults are sleeping for less than seven hours a night, according to a leaked government report obtained by The Times.

It’s reported that ministers are going to crack down on the amount of sleep we’re getting by imposing alcohol-style guidelines.

The recommendations form part of a series of proposals to improve public health in the UK.

The report suggests that making do with less sleep than seven hours a night is resulting in poorer levels of mental and physical wellbeing.

READ MORE: Why sleeping with the fan on could be bad for your health

The draft sets out the problems associated with lack of sleep, which include; greater risk of obesity, heart attacks, strokes, depression and anxiety.

The report also noted that a lack of sleep can contribute to slower recovery times from existing illnesses or surgery.

The findings align with current guidelines set out by the NHS, which state that sleep deprivation can also cause diabetes and lower life expectancy.

READ MORE: Sleeping with the light on is linked to weight gain in women

The NHS recommend we get eight hours of “good-quality” sleep per night. However, as a general rule it suggests that if you “wake up tired” and “spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap” then you’re probably not getting enough.

The government will now study the report with a view to re-evaluate current guidelines.

READ MORE: You can train yourself to become a morning person

Within the guidelines, it says: “As a first step the government will review the evidence on sleep and health. This is with a view to informing the case for clear national guidance on the daily recommended hours of sleep for individuals in different age brackets and to raise awareness of the key 'sleep hygiene' factors that can support healthy sleeping.”

Currently, the NHS recommends the following tips to help aid sleep:

  • Sleep at regular times

  • Make sure you wind down with a relaxation CD or a warm bath

  • Make your bedroom sleep friendly with no gadgets or electronics

  • Keep a sleep diary to note any potential problem areas

It is reported Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, will publish a list of the proposals the government have had in a bid to decrease obesity and smoking levels and save the NHS money.

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