The Christmas period is a time of excitement, joy and celebration with our nearest and dearest. In December, our calendars are usually filled with a multitude of festive events, from office Christmas parties to family visits and present shopping.
However, the festive season can also have detrimental effects on our sleeping patterns. In fact, a recent study found that a third of Brits feel tired at Christmas, with 41% feeling sluggish and a further 33% left feeling generally exhausted. Whether it’s those alcohol-fueled Christmas parties or one too many mince pies, it’s common for people to overindulge during the festive season and suffer the phenomenon known as ‘Christmas fatigue’.
In fact, our own research found that the UK has an average of over 250,000 ‘insomnia’ related searches per month. With all of this in mind, we decided to conduct our own research to find out which English towns and cities were the most sleep-deprived during the festive period.
Key Metrics we Analysed
In order to attain the most accurate results, we looked at several different factors which can impact our sleep. The first metric we looked at was online search trends. In particular, we analysed the forecasted search trends on Google’s Keyword Planner for poor sleep-related terms over the course of December. These terms included “I can’t sleep” and “insomnia treatments”.
The second metric we analysed was Public Health England’s (PHE) data on noise pollution, specifically, the rates of noise complaints and the percentage of each town or city’s population exposed to noisy transport links, such as airports and motorways.
- In terms of search trends, Altrincham proved to be the most sleep-deprived town in England. Per capita, Harrogate’s searches for phrases relating to poor sleep quality are 236% above the national average.
- Newcastle’s average monthly sleep-related searches are 129% higher than London’s search volume per capita.
- Cambridge, a known city known for its beautiful green scenery, rich history and architectural wonders, has the second-highest rate of noise complaints in England. The city has a crude noise complete rate of 13%, which is 75% higher than Oxford.
- Portsmouth is the 3rd loudest city/town in England, as over 14.9% of its population are exposed to noisy transportation links, such as airports, motorways and trains.
- Overall, (excluding London) when combining both noise pollution and search trend data, Birmingham ranks number one for the most sleep-deprived town and city.
Check out our findings below to see if your town or city features in our list!
Top 25 Most Sleep-Deprived Towns & Cities in England
The table below represents the combined results of both noise pollution and search trend data.
Search Trend Results: Top 25 Most Sleep-Deprived Towns & Cities in England
The table below represents the results of search trends relating to poor sleep quality and insomnia.
Most Sleep-Deprived Towns & Cities:
Results exclude London and are based on noise pollution data and search trend data.
Search Trend: Most Sleep-Deprived Towns & Cities:
Results are solely based on search trend data.
Noisiest English Towns Cities:
Results exclude London and are based on noise pollution relating to the crude rate of noise complaints and the percentage of the population exposed to noisy transport links, such as airports and train lines.
In order to determine which cities and towns were the most sleep-deprived over Christmas, we used Google’s Keyword Planner to find out how frequently people in cities and towns searched for terms related to sleep deprivation, such as “I can’t sleep” and “Insomnia treatments”.
To determine the total percentage of residents searching for these terms, we compared the monthly search average with the location’s population.
Then, we analysed data from Public Health England (PHE) around noise pollution, in particular, noise complaints per capita and the percentage of the population exposed to noisy transportation links at night time.
Finally, we ranked each city and town according to their combined findings in order to determine which towns and cities were most sleep-deprived around Christmas.