Stressed-out Britons sleep for just six hours a night

The average British adult sleeps for just six hours and 21 minutes a night – almost an hour less than two years ago, a study revealed.

Money worries, work stress and noise were the top factors blamed for people failing to get the recommended eight hours.

The research for Travelodge showed more than half (54 per cent) of UK adults admitted being unable to concentrate in the office without a good night's rest, and a quarter of respondents confessed to having a sneaky nap at work.

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On average Britons are getting 51 minutes less shuteye than the previous survey showed in 2008. It costs employers an estimated 1b a year because of people taking eight million sick days as a result of a bad night's sleep, Travelodge said.

According to the hotel chain's Sleep Index based on 6,000 people's bedtime experiences, almost half (47 per cent) said they took longer to complete tasks when sleep-deprived.

The research also showed the lengths to which people go to prolong their sleep, taking an average of 13 minutes to get out of bed when their alarm clock rings while one in 10 respondents failed to brush their teeth.

The findings have prompted the company to introduce sleep wardens to patrol corridors at its hotels to ensure guests are not disturbed by noise.

Stevie Williams, from the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said: "Having sleepless nights on a long term basis can be very detrimental on your health and it will affect your productivity and overall well being.

"Therefore it's essential to invest in topping up your sleep quota when possible."