Snoring is much more of a problem in some parts of the UK than others

A new nationwide poll conducted with home-owning couples last month has revealed some major regional differences in how partners deal with the issue of snoring, and how they resolve it as a problem. Everyone sleeps in a slightly different way, and this can be due to a very wide range of factors including their different habits when they turn in for the night. Some of the more interesting regional results are as follows.

Flags of the United Kingdom of Great Britain - England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Union Flag.

The highest percentage of snoring that causes family rifts is in Northern Ireland and is at over 60%, closely followed by the North West and North East of England, with Wales following at 44%, whilst other areas rank lower.

The average amount of sleep an adult gets in the UK is 7 hours and 10 minutes, but the people who live in the hustle and bustle of London get the least sleep for one reason or another, which may not come as a huge surprise. They only get 6 hours 25 minutes sleep per night and that is exactly an hour less than someone who lives in the North East. It may not seem much but across a week it’s a difference of a complete night’s sleep.

People from Northern Ireland get 7 hours 8 minutes sleep on average but say that are very unhappy about it, Nearly two-thirds would like more. One of the biggest disruptions to their night is snoring, and well over 60% confessed to having major arguments about this – the highest figure of any region in the United Kingdom.

Although people in the North East sleep longer than those in any other region, only 41% are happy about that amount and feel that they don’t get enough sleep. They are obviously hardy as even though it’s colder than many parts of the country they are the ones most likely to sleep naked.

In contrast, those in Northern Ireland are most likely to sleep wearing pyjamas, whereas Londoners tend to prefer some form of underwear as their night-time attire of choice.

These two areas differ greatly in other ways too. Working and living in a big city such as London can often leave you a bit grubby by the time that bedtime rolls around, and this may be why Londoners are the ‘cleanest sleepers’ in the UK, with 65% washing, bathing or showering every evening before they hit the sack. This is quite different to Northern Ireland, as only 23% admit to never washing before going to bed, presumably because they favour the morning bath or shower.

Maybe it’s something in the water but when it comes to night time intimacy, Yorkshire and Humberside leads the way. Over 15% confessed to being intimate with their partner before they go to sleep with other areas having lower figures. The other end of the scale reveals figures of less than 7% in Scotland and an even lower 5% in Northern Ireland.

Other activities vary greatly too. Those in the South East prefer to read before turning the light out with the highest figure of over 42% for this. Reading and watching television are by far the most popular pre-sleep activities and both have a 37% average, but in the East Midlands less than 24% said that they watch TV before turning in.

The data recorded even measured how often people hit the snooze button on their alarm with Londoners doing it most at a figure that is 47% higher than anywhere else. East Anglians proved to be the sprightliest in the morning and they hit the snooze button far less than anyone else.

The biggest disturbances to sleep came from snoring – often a serious problem. Sleeping in the same bed as your partner however may be going out of fashion with new research suggesting that now one in six British couples choose to sleep in separate bedrooms. The emergence of ‘his and her’ rooms appears to be growing because of the increase in snoring and many people are quite happy sleeping in their own separate room. Dubbed the ‘second master suite’ or the ‘snoring room’, the extra bedroom has now started to become a common feature in many houses.

Stephen Lindsay, head of Savills estate agency in London, told the Sunday Times that the idea of separate rooms appealed greatly to many clients, particularly those from abroad. ‘They are amused by the English humour of the snoring room, but also attracted to the flexibility it allows’. He added: ‘Often called a second master or guest suite, developers are increasingly adding snoring rooms to new properties to meet this buyer appetite.’

Of course, it would be much cheaper for them to stop snoring by using a simple oral appliance, and definitely much friendlier and more sociable.

John Redfern