Britons Spend 37 Minutes 'Listening To Wave Sounds' To Get To Sleep

By on August 5, 2011

Forget about counting sheep, millions of Britons now listen to nature tapes, wave sounds and soft music to help them fall asleep.

Researchers found it takes on average 37 minutes a night trying to get to sleep, with many of us now turning to noise in a bid to get them off.

One in five (20 per cent) say noises from nature help them doze off, with favourites including sounds of the rainforest and birds twittering, a survey found.

The sound of waves is considered the most soothing, preferred by 11 per cent of Brits, followed by soft music (nine per cent).

The wind was voted most relaxing by eight per cent, with the ticking of a clock coming fourth (six per cent) and then late night radio (four per cent).

The study found that 11pm is the most common time for going to bed and Brits sleep for an average of 6 hours 49 minutes.

In a bid to ease themselves into sleep, 45 per cent of Brits read in bed – the most popular method of dropping off.

Interestingly, ten per cent claim that a chat with their partner soon has them falling asleep. Less than one in ten still try counting sheep.

The research found the noise most likely to keep us awake is someone else’s snoring, which is the most annoying bedtime sound for 27 per cent of us.

Sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley said: “Listening to sounds you like helps the brain ‘tune out’ other more disruptive sounds, so you get a better night’s sleep.

“Noises from nature, which tend to provide a continuous, familiar sound which you don’t have to actively listen to, can be particularly helpful.

“It’s not uncommon to find ‘everyday’ sounds such as the hum of traffic and even rock music relaxing.

“Wayne Rooney has even admitted he likes to drop off to the sound of a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer.

“With Brits sleeping for only 6 hours 49 minutes per night, it is clear there’s a real need to improve our methods of falling asleep.”

Guests at the Chessington World of Adventures Resort safari-themed Resort Hotel can now have genuine nature and animal sounds piped into their rooms at night, to help them sleep.

David Smith, of the resort, which commissioned the survey, said: “Having researched what nature noises people want to hear, we’ve trialled it with a number of families who said it really helped them doze off.”

Source: The Telegraph

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