Happy Beds has delved into Google search data, comparing sleep-related searches from April 2019 to April 2020, to see what the common reasons might be as to why the UK aren’t sleeping very well during lockdown, as suggested in a study by Kings College London.

Worryingly, ‘cure for insomnia’ has increased by 700%, showing that Brits are desperately looking at ways that they can sleep better at night having developed insomnia-related conditions during lockdown.

The search data shows that anxiety searches are on the rise, with ‘can’t sleep due to anxiety’ rising by 242%, and sadly, ‘anxiety attacks at night’ has also gone up 126%.

Some reasons that could be contributing towards the UK’s sleeping problems and potentially the increase in anxiety-based searches include:

·        Health – ‘111 Helpline’ – 650% rise

·        Finances – ‘money help UK’ – 323% rise

·        Relationships – ‘how to keep a relationship going’ – 80% rise

·        Boredom – ‘hobbies at home’ – 440% rise

·        Out of routine – ‘printable daily routine chart’ – 319% rise

More general searches around sleeplessness shows that the lockdown is affecting how Brits are sleeping. People searching “How to get to sleep at night” has grown 417%, “feeling tired” is up 402% and “not sleeping well” has increased 400%. “Sleeping too much” has decreased 71%.

On the bright side, ‘signs of work-related stress’ has gone down by 78% and ‘feeling stressed at work’ has gone down by 58%, showing that perhaps remote working is the key to employees’ mental wellbeing.

Another search term that has had a huge rise is, ‘buy sleeping pills online UK’, at 680%. More specifically, ‘buy Zopiclone UK’ isn’t too far behind at 511%, now gaining 4.4k searches in the month instead of last year’s 721.

Zopiclone is a UK prescription drug to help treat insomnia; helping users fall asleep quicker and stopping them from waking up during the night.

DR Daniel Cichi, Senior GP from Doctor 4 U says:

“Any online service that does offer sleeping pills such as Zopiclone is unregulated and breaking the law and you are risking your health if you go down the route of buying dangerous prescription drugs that are potentially counterfeit from unregulated sources.

“Your GP is the first port of call; they can assess whether there are any underlying issues that are causing sleep problems. Whether it is breathing problems, mental health problems, or certain medications that you’re taking, your GP will be able to determine the cause of insomnia so that you get the most appropriate treatment. 

“Sometimes, insomnia needs some investigation work with various tests to determine the cause which is why going down the GP route is the best option if you’ve been struggling with insomnia for months and self-help methods have not worked.”

More general searches around sleeplessness shows that the lockdown is affecting how Brits are sleeping. People searching “How to get to sleep at night” has grown 417%, “feeling tired” is up 402% and “not sleeping well” has increased 400%. “Sleeping too much” has decreased 71%.

Dr Ivana Rosenzweig, Head of the Sleep and Brain Plasticity Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, commented on their own study by saying:

“Adequate and good-quality sleep is important to maintain our physical and mental resilience and disturbed sleep is often caused by stress. But we also know that poor sleep can play a role in increasing our levels of stress, which can create a cycle that’s difficult to break. This is reflected by the findings that this effect was greater for those most vulnerable and those who were more concerned about the pandemic.”