The Best Sleep Cities in the UK

Sleep can be an elusive thing, often hindered through stresses, strains, and even the environment around us. To better understand the quality of sleep in the United Kingdom, we took a look at the levels and quality of sleep across a number of cities across the country.

During the study, we analysed data on light pollution and transport noise pollution in each city. Additionally, we conducted a survey to discover the percentage of people in each city getting 7+ hours of sleep, how many regularly say they are getting a good night’s sleep, and the percentage of people who believe they live in a peaceful environment.

The Quiet City

Sleep can be an elusive thing, but for those living in Poole, they have the greatest chance of getting some shut eye. Poole ranks as our number one best large city in the UK sleep, and it’s not hard to see why. A popular tourist attraction on the Jurassic coast, Poole is famed for its ancient maritime history, golden sands and breath-taking views of the sea.

Unsurprisingly, Poole has a low noise level at night and has the highest physical health score. With such gorgeous scenery, it’s no wonder that more of the residents exercise daily. Plus, who wouldn’t want to stop and just listen to the soothing sounds of the waves?

The maritime city also has the lowest average time commuting to work per morning. With most people travelling only 16.8 minutes, it’s clear that the majority would prefer to stay in bed for just a little bit longer before going to work.

The Cities of Sleep

Despite ranking first, the residents of Poole don’t sleep the longest. In fact, it’s cities lower down the table that have residents getting the most shut eye. Sheffield, Leeds and Middlesbrough all have residents that sleep for an average of 7.01 hours per night, which is quite impressive since all three cities have either medium or high levels of noise at night.

The Sleep City and Wellbeing

Brighton ranks third on our best cities for sleep in the UK, but is the winner for the best large city in the UK for wellbeing. Vibrant, colourful and creative, Brighton is a popular destination for experiencing culture, as well as the magnificent views of the coast.

Proud to be LGBTQ+ friendly, Brighton also has regular events that support inclusivity for all residents and visitors. Frequently described as the happiest place to live in the UK, it’s no wonder that the residents of Brighton have a high wellbeing score. And happy people sleep well.

Cities That Never Sleep

Unfortunately, there are the cities that never sleep, which include Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and London who rank last in our table.

Residents here have the poorest sleep quality, with the average person only getting 6.33 hours of sleep every night. London has the highest average commute time, with the everyday Londoner travelling 39.5 minutes every morning. Birmingham has the second highest, with 23.6 minutes.

All three cities have poor outlooks on exercise too, with just over half of residents exercising for two and a half hours per week.

If you’re a resident living in one of these cities, then we’ve put together some tips for getting a good night’s sleep, including:

  • Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet
  • Limiting screen time and no electronics at least an hour before bed
  • Choosing the bedding that’s right for you, including a comfortable mattress and pillows
  • Decluttering your bedroom
  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake during the day and especially at night
  • Turning off email and work notifications
  • Relaxing before bed with a good book, a bath or a gentle stroll

Conclusion

The analysis of the levels of light and transport noise pollution in each of the cities, in addition to our survey of the respective cities’ citizens, indicates many city dwellers across the country are living in environments that could interfere with sleeping patterns and lead to people not having the recommended amount of sleep each night; which can lead to an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.

There are some changes which have been found to help you sleep better, including setting up the light and temperature levels before heading to bed, going to bed at nearly the same time every night, and investing in a new sleep system such as a new mattress or bed frame. Research has also found that hitting the snooze button actually results in you feeling more tired, so although getting up on your first alarm is sometimes difficult, it will reduce tiredness throughout the day.

Tips on How to Sleep Better

As covered above, there are many factors to consider when looking at the quality of sleep. We explored how light pollution, transportation noise, and the environment can help (or hinder) your bedtime routine.

Here are some things to consider when working to get more fulfilling rest.

  • Limit caffeine to earlier in the day (or a good 6-8 hours before bedtime).
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Keep your room peaceful and sleep-promoting (reduce TV time in the bedroom and if you can’t fall asleep easily, don’t stay in bed stressed).
  • Add exercise into your daily routine.

Another factor to consider? The mattress you sleep on. While the tips above can help, they don’t do a whole lot of good if you are sleeping on an uncomfortable or unsupportive bed.

The best mattress for you isn’t necessarily the most expensive or the thickest, but the one catered to your sleep style.

When looking for your new bed, consider the following:

  • Do you want a latex, innerspring, or memory foam mattress?
  • What size of mattress works best for your current living situation?
  • Do you need a mattress for side sleepers or stomach and back sleepers?
  • What is your current mattress budget?

Methodology

To calculate the best large city in the UK for sleep in our sleep study, we scored some of the biggest cities in the UK against a range of factors, including noise and light pollution, sleep hours and physical activity of residents and average temperatures. To see where we obtained each of our data from, find the sources below:

Sources