A quarter of British people aged 30 to 50 may be sleep deprived, getting just five hours of shut-eye each night, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the University of Leeds questioned 1,024 Brits aged 18 to 80 about their sleeping habits.
They found that while the majority of people in the 30-50 age bracket planned to get eight hours of sleep per night, in reality few managed to hit the hay on time.
Almost 25% of participants in this age group reported getting less than five hours of sleep the night before the study took place.
The researchers have warned such sleep deprivation could increase an individual’s risk of anxiety, depression, diabetes and heart disease.
The researchers noted that career pressure is often at its highest when we are between the ages of 30 and 50, so this may be one explanation for why people in this age group find it particularly difficult to sleep.
Of all the participants, 42% said they found their jobs stressful and 30% said stress related to work had had a negative impact on their sleep the previous week.
More than 20% of people involved in the study said they worked more than 40 hours per week on average.
The research, which was funded by Silentnight Beds, was presented at the British Sleep Society conference in Newcastle earlier this week.
“The real concern is actually a quarter of the population is sleeping as little as five hours each night,” lead researcher Dr Anna Weighall said at the conference, according to ITV News.
“Less than five hours each night is associated with serious negative health outcomes including cardiovascular problems, obesity and diabetes.
“The increasing demands of modern life, social media and connected technologies may affect the quality and quantity of our sleep and pose a serious and detrimental threat to health.”
This isn’t the first study to suggest lack of sleep can have a serious negative impact on health. Academics have previously suggested sleep deprivation increases risk of stroke and causes us to overeat.