What's keeping the city awake at night? Melissa Fagan looks at troubling statistics

It's International Stress Awareness Week and Manchester has been ranked as the third most stressed out city in the UK, with 26% of Mancunians agreeing their sleep is regularly affected by stress.

It's certainly a modern day epidemic, with family, work or finances some of the main causes of daily stresses. 

A study by Sealy UK, found that stress is one of the biggest causes of sleep deprivation, which can ultimately have a knock on effect to our mental health, mood and productivity at work. 

... taking five minutes out of your day to take some deep breaths can help reduce stress.

18 11 06 National Stress Awareness Week
National Stress Awareness Week

Women are amongst the most susceptible, with 23% surveyed agreeing they are unable to regularly get a good nights sleep. Compared to only 18% of men who suffered regular sleep deprivation. 

Physical pain and financial troubles are said to be the second and third reasons for being unable to count the sheep at night, but the study found 21% agreed that stress was the main factor. Leeds were ranked seventh on the list, with 22% of local people afflicted. 

Chief Sleep Officer, Neil Robinson at Sealy UK commented on the study’s findings: “The effect of stress on our health and mental wellbeing are well known, so it was worrying to see our research reveal that stress is also preventing many people from getting adequate sleep as well. Not getting enough sleep can perpetuate stress and it then becomes a vicious cycle, with stress leading to sleeplessness, and lack of sleep then making us more stressed.”

In support of International Stress Awareness Week, Body Confidential have come up with some simple and easy ideas on how to reduce your usual stresses and hopefully help you sleep more soundly at night.

1.     Deep breathing 

Something that can be done no matter where you are, taking five minutes out of your day to take some deep breaths can help reduce stress. Allowing yourself a couple of minutes to clear your mind and focus on breathing, can help lower your blood pressure.

2.     Stretching 

Whether you’re sat at your desk at work or stood waiting for your bus, simple stretches can help you feel more in tune with your body and give it some extra attention. You range from twirling your ankles and wrists to more elaborate and traditional upper/lower body stretches, depending on your available space. 

18 11 07 Stress Awareness Me T Ime
Take some time out in the evening to indulge...

3.   Me Time 

We now live in a culture where treating yourself is seen as vital for our mental health. This can also benefit us when it comes to sleep deprivation and stress. Taking some time during the evening to indulge in a quick face mask or moisturising your body, allows you time to unwind and collect your thoughts from the day.   

4.  Switch off

Shutting off from technology before hitting the hay is another proved method to help mitigate stress and lack of sleep. Sealy UK’s Neil Robinson suggests 'to break the cycle, we would recommend establishing a proper routine before bed in order to signal to the brain and body that it’s time to switch off from the stresses of the day, as well as banishing technology from the bedroom so there’s no chance of work and life infringing on your downtime.'