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Health & Lifestyle

How Much Brits Spend On Sleep Uncovered

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In our lifetime, we spend around 26 years asleep, which is a third of our lifetime. Without that all-important sleep, we can suffer from poor vision, heart disease and even memory problems.

Despite this, more than a third (36%) of Brits struggle to sleep on a weekly basis. So, what are we doing about it?

In response, we have surveyed 1,000 of the British public to find out just how much they spend on sleep aids (such as sleep subscriptions, a Fitbit and Apple watches) in an effort to try and get to sleep.

Why are so many Brits' struggling to sleep at the moment?

Martin Seeley, CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay said: “We’re currently living through a period where the cost of living is at its highest in 30 years. Whilst our days may be busy and preoccupied with work, family life and errands, once we get into bed and have time to stop and pause, our minds may become preoccupied with money worries. These anxious feelings can keep you up at night and disrupt your sleeping pattern as a result.

“Likewise, it’s been reported that the UK works around two hours more than the EU average. This ‘always connected’ lifestyle to work means that we aren’t spending enough time resting on the lead-up to bed, which can also lead to anxious thoughts at night about tomorrow’s to-do list.

“As a result of all of this, many Brits spend money on trying to get a good night’s sleep - which our survey results have revealed.”

1 in 5 Brits buy items to get a better sleep

Shockingly, one fifth of Brits surveyed (21%) are having to resort to spending their own money on sleep aids to try and get to sleep, highlighting just how much lack of sleep is becoming an increasingly large problem within the UK.

Of the 21% of Brits surveyed that do spend money on sleep aids, how much are they actually spending?

  • 1 in 7 (14%) spend between £31 - £60 per year
  • 1 in 7 (14%) spend between £61 - £100 per year
  • Almost 1 in 10 (9%) spend between £100 - £150 per year
  • Almost 1 in 5 (18%) spend more than £151 per year

Of those that buy sleep aids, 27% will spend up to £6,000 throughout their life

Staggeringly, 27% of those who do spend money on sleep aids spend over £100 per year. If we were to calculate that over the 60 years spent as an adult (from 21 to 81, the average life expectancy), they would spend a shocking £6,000 in an attempt to get a good night's sleep.

This number highlights how disrupted sleep is costing us more than our health. This is particularly concerning due to the increase in insomnia in the UK, which is thought to affect one in every three people in Britain. So, we could end up spending more as time goes on.

Sleep expert reveals why men are spending more money on sleep aids than women

Almost a quarter (23%) of men stated they had spent money on trying to sleep in the past 12 months. While this is only a slight increase when compared to women (21%), the data suggests that men are, in fact, spending more on getting a good night’s sleep.

Likewise, 7% of men said they had spent more than £100 on sleep aids. In comparison, only 4% of women said the same.

Martin Seeley reveals why this is likely to be the case. “It’s common knowledge that women tend to sleep longer than men, making them less likely to require any sleep aids. In addition, women are in the restorative deep sleep stage longer than men, which could be why so many men in the survey are resorting to spending money on sleep aids.

“It’s also believed that men are more likely to be woken up by any disturbances, which can lead to a negative impact on sleep quality. This is because women are said to be more evolved to manage sleep disturbances.”

18-24 year olds are spending more on sleep aids than any other age group, suggesting they are struggling to sleep

Our data reveals that 18-24 years are spending more on trying to sleep than any other age group. 28% have spent money on sleep aids in the past 12 months.

Shockingly, 1 in 10 (10%) 18-24 year olds have spent more than £100 over the course of a year in an attempt to get to sleep. In addition, 4% of 18-24 year olds stated they had spent more than £250 on sleep aids - the largest number of any other age group.

A report discovered that young Brits are working more hours than any other age group, suggesting they are having to prioritise work and earnings above their own health.

With 1 in 5 Brits spending money on sleep aids, what is it that we are actually buying?

  1. CBD oil - 1,920,552 Google searches in the last year
  2. Lavender oil - 1,567,120 Google searches in the last year
  3. Sleep spray - 963,920 Google searches in the last year
  4. Calm app - 690,750 Google searches in the last year
  5. SAD lamp - 687,900 Google searches in the last year
  6. Sleep therapy - 647,430 Google searches in the last year
  7. Oura ring - 418,750 Google searches in the last year
  8. Sleep stones - 114,720 Google searches in the last year
  9. Fitbit sleep - 52,050 Google searches in the last year

Across the UK, there was an average of 160,046 searches for CBD oil per month - or 1,920,552 searches across the year. As a popular treatment for insomnia, it’s little surprise that so many people are searching for it in the UK. Likewise, lavender oil is the second most searched sleep aid, commonly used for relaxation and getting to sleep.

Sleep sprays are the third most popular sleep aid

Sleep sprays, or pillow mists, are the third most popular items to help us sleep, with 963,920 searches in 2021. These are designed to produce sleep inducing aromas to help us fall asleep quicker.

In the past year, there were 690,750 searches for the Calm app, and a further 687,900 for SAD lamps, again highlighting our reliability on tools and devices to help us sleep. The Calm app boasts sleep stories and breathing techniques, while SAD lamps help regulate your sleep-wake cycle.

Further highlighting just how much we are struggling to sleep, in sixth place is ‘sleep therapy’ which was searched for 647,430 times last year. You can access this privately, sometimes at a cost of hundreds, or through your GP who may refer you for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Searches for ‘sleep therapy’ actually peaked to their highest level in April 2020, due to the pandemic, and it looks like we haven’t yet recovered the ability to sleep.

Searches for the Oura ring have increased by 40% in the past year

The Oura Ring, made famous by Kim Kardashian, has also seen a significant 40% rise in searches between 2020 and 2021. This ring bills itself as the most accurate sleep tracker, with a price tag starting at £224. Similarly, searches for ‘fitbit sleep’ hit over 50,000 last year, suggesting more Brits are determined to measure just how well they sleep.

Sleep stones work in a similar way to pillow mists and are the eighth most popular aid. To use, you simply open the jar of stones and allow the aromas to fragrance the room, helping you drift off. Searches for sleep stones jumped a staggering 84% in the last year to 114,720!

Thankfully, there are methods to fall asleep in which you don’t have to spend money!

Here's how to fall asleep in five minutes using this FREE breathing technique

Did you know that there is a breathing technique said to help people get to sleep in just five minutes?

The 4-7-8 breathing technique is one of the most commonly used treatments for people suffering from insomnia.

  • Make sure to place the tip of your tongue behind your front teeth and press up to the roof of your mouth. You’ll need to keep your tongue here while doing this technique.
  • Breathe in through your nose for four seconds.
  • Hold your breath for seven seconds.
  • Breathe out through your mouth for eight seconds. End this breath as if you are blowing out a candle.
  • Repeat as many times as needed.

For even more tips, check out the rest of our breathing techniques to help you sleep. Or you can look at our new mattresses to help you get that perfect rest.


We surveyed 1,000 Brits and asked them how much they have spent on sleep aids over the past year. Any discrepancies in percentage are due to rounding the numbers.

An image of the author, Martin Seeley, Senior Sleep Expert Martin Seeley, Senior Sleep Expert Bio & articles

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