The British National Psychiatric Morbidity survey reported that 39 per cent of people in England suffered from disrupted sleep or symptoms ofinsomnia.
According to a recent report, The Great British Bedtime Report, conducted by the Sleep Council, the proportion of people who said that they "sleep very well most nights" had fallen from 25 per cent in 2013 to 17 per cent in 2017.
Recent research suggests we would be better off thinking about sleep according to the cycles it worked in, rather than the hours of sleep we were getting.
According to author and sleep expert Dr Laura Lefkowitz, ''The brain has a pattern of sleep. It's not like you just fall asleep and hour one is the same as hours two and three and five and nine. It goes through cycles. Within each there is what we call non-REM [Rapid Eye Movement] sleep, and then REM sleep.''
To help people calculate when they should go to bed, retailer web-blinds.com had developed a sleep calculator to work out the best time for people to rise or go to sleep, saying, "and that means you can look forward to feeling fresh and alert every morning," they say.
Each cycle lasted roughly 90 minutes, and people should pass through five or six of them. "Waking up mid-cycle can leave you feeling grumpy and tired," they warn; "rising in between phases will help you to start the day with a smile on your face."
In order to wake up feeling refreshed, one needed to ensure that one's alarm would not go off mid-cycle.
With Web Blinds' sleep calculator one could find out what time one should go to bed to wake up fully refreshed in the morning.
The calculator allows people to enter the time they need to get up, which offers several bedtime options. So if one's alarm was set for 7.15am, according to Web Blind say one should go to bed at 10:01pm, 11:31pm, 1:01am or 2:31am.
The calculations are based on the fact that the average person fell asleep in 14 minutes on an average, which might not be so for everyone.