New research shows that Brits can spend more than 11 hrs each day in front of a screen!

  • Brits are spending more time scrolling than sleeping; new research shows that Brits can spend more than 11 hours each day in front of a screen!
  • In 2021 alone, we’ve missed out on 48 hours’ sleep as a result of increased screen time and disrupted bedtime routines. 
  • Wellness brand APOTHEM shares their tips for better sleep hygiene. 

Home workers are spending more time in front of a screen than they are sleeping, new research has found.

Ofcom’s Online Nation 2021 report has found that the average Brit spends around 217 minutes (3.6 hours) per day using their digital devices recreationally. However, this figure could be significantly higher for home workers who rely on a computer in their role.

Wellness brand APOTHEM estimates that the combined recreational and professional screen time could total as much as 11.6 hours, or a staggering 697 minutes, based on a standard eight hour work day. This would mean that some homeworkers are online each day for longer than they are sleeping! 

Brits have long sacrificed their sleep in response to their lifestyle. Since the start of 2021, searches for ‘is five hours of sleep enough?’ have grown by over 200%, in an attempt to squeeze more into their day. 

The quality of sleep we are getting may not be as good thanks to our increased screen time. With remote working blurring the boundaries between work and home life, many Brits are using their screens for longer periods. Some are not shutting their laptops until late at night, with recent research by NordVPN suggesting it may be as late as 8pm for some home workers.

According to one study, evening exposure to intense blue light – the type emitted by phones and laptops – was found to cut our sleep by as much as 16 minutes per night. 

With more than 322 working days since the country was first plunged into lockdown in March 2020, home workers may have missed out on 5,152 minutes of sleep – or over 85 hours – as a result of increased pre-bed screen time.

The brand also looked at how much sleep we may have sacrificed since 2021 began. Those who can’t resist a pre-sleep scroll have potentially lost out on 2,880 minutes or almost 48 hours of shuteye so far this year. If left unchecked, we could miss out on 5,840 minutes of sleep, or 97 hours over the course of the year!

Ironically, Brits’ inability to switch off is reflected in a spike in sleep-related searches, as we Google remedies to our sleep woes on our digital devices. Searches for ‘how to fall asleep quickly’ and ‘‘why can’t I sleep’ are both asked the most between midnight and 4am.

With screen time on the increase, APOTHEM’s Head of Product Development, Haley Fitzpatrick offers her tips for establishing a better bedtime routine to recoup those valuable minutes of sleep each night. 

Haley comments, “With an ongoing WFH setup, plus the fresh juggle to adjust to a resurging social life, it’s not surprising that our sleep routines are more out of sync than ever.  Sleep is vital to all aspects of our health and helps us to face the next day with more energy and ease. 

What you do in the hour leading up to bedtime can impact on the quality of sleep you get.  This is a good time to turn the lights down and turn off digital devices, as the blue light can inhibit the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.

Sometimes the mind isn’t always ready for bed when the body is, so if you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed and do an activity that you find soothing. This could be reading a book, doing some gentle stretches or listening to relaxing music in a hot bath. This might also be a good time to give yourself a helping hand with a natural calming sleep supplement. Try and avoid watching the clock and any screens!

If you really can’t avoid a late night scroll, invest in some blue-light blocking glasses, dim the brightness on your devices using night or dark mode, and make a conscious effort to put your phone in another room before bed so you can make the most of an uninterrupted night’s sleep”.

Additional tips for establishing a better bedtime routine can be found here, along with research on Brits’ most common late night searches.