Brits shun sex for sleep!

May 19, 2005

Research out today shows we're shunning sex in favour of some serious shut-eye. And if that isn't bad enough, the way we sleep could be one reason for our back pain - 68 per cent of us are struck down with back problems each year.

 

Chartered physiotherapists have discovered why Britain lags back in 9th place in the world when it comes to sex - or lack of it!.

 

Research out today shows we're shunning sex in favour of some serious shut-eye. And if that isn't bad enough, the way we sleep could be one reason for our back pain - 68 per cent of us are struck down with back problems each year.

 

The study reveals that Brits are now typically spending seven hours asleep. And three quarters of the nation - three in four of us - choose to sleep on our side. But chartered physiotherapists warn that our favourite sleeping position may be causing us pain.  With hot, sticky and restless nights on the way, physios are concerned that people's bad sleeping postures are leading to discomfort and pain.

 

New figures released by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) show more than half of respondents (56%) say they sleep seven or more hours every night in their preferred position (2).

Almost three quarters of people (74%) report sleeping on their left or right side, or in the foetus position. While this is a popular sleeping posture, physios advise that failing to take adequate precautions can leave people at risk of sleep-depriving musculo-skeletal problems like neck, back and hip pain. 

 

To help keep sleepers safe and make the best of their favourite sleeping positions, the CSP has published a new handbook - The Good Sleep Guide (3). It is designed to illustrate how best to support ourselves in whatever sleep posture we adopt, helping to provide a comfortable and restful night's sleep.

 

Sammy Margo, leading UK physiotherapist and physio to the stars says: 'The sleep posture we choose can make the difference between waking up feeling refreshed or exhausted. With the onset of warm nights leading to tossing and turning in the struggle to get comfortable, the chances of falling asleep in a bad position greatly increases.

 

'How we support ourselves in bed is key to warding off physical discomfort. If you sleep on your side and have a soft mattress or an hourglass figure, you need to support the natural curves of your spine. Make sure you are not sinking into the bed or placing unnecessary pressure to the hip.'

Sleeping on the side is not the only posture prone to problems. Steps should also be taken when sleeping on the front or back. 

 

Sammy says: 'Too many or too little pillows causing your neck to tilt forward or back can lead to an asymmetrical strain, as can over-arching your back when lying on it with your legs straight. It's all about where you place your pillows to take the pressure off your neck, back and hips.'

The CSP's Good Sleep Guide shows sleepers how to make best use of pillows to maximise comfort and aid restful, good sleep: use the PDF download links below for further information.

(1) Durex Global Sex Survey 2004; United Kingdom ranked ninth in the world, with people having sex an average of 119 times per year - 18 times fewer than leaders France and 14 times fewer than second place Greece.

(2) A study into the nation's sleeping habits, YouGov - commissioned by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (April-June 2005)

 

Notes to editors

For further information on any of the points in the guide or for advice on sleeping posture, suitable mattresses and pillows, please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 6163 /6616/6628 or on 07795 564 240/07786 332 197 (mobiles). 

 

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the country's 45,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants. 


 

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