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A study found Glasgow to be the third in Scotland and fifth in the UK on sleep problems.

Research conducted by sleep disorder experts at Miracle Leaf places Glasgow in the top five most sleep deprived cities in Britain.

The study reveals that Glaswegians have the third most frequent Google searches for questions related to sleep deprivation and insomnia in Scotland, coming fifth in the UK overall. Glasgow’s numbers exceed those of other major Scottish cities including Aberdeen, Perth, and Edinburgh, which are ranked 10th, 12th and 16th respectively.

Using population data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and search information from Google’s Keyword Planner tool, researchers were able to calculate the average number of monthly searches per capita for questions related to poor sleep health. Search rates in 45 UK cities were then compared to identify the most sleepless cities in the country.

In recent years, Glasgow has consistently scored high on research investigating broken sleep. According to a 2017 report by Aviva, 35% of Glaswegians report insomnia, coming in third overall after Cardiff and Sheffield. In a study similar to the Miracle Leaf report, UK mattress firm OTTY Sleep ranked Glasgow as 10th on their list of most tired major UK cities.

The findings also showed a higher percentage of the population living in smaller cities being unable to sleep, with Kilmarnock and Inverness both ranked higher than Glasgow. Harrogate, England and Bangor, Wales took first and second place in the UK. London scored overall lowest in the number of searches per capita out of all 45 locations surveyed.

The findings of previous studies link stress factors such as high-pressure city careers and the urban noise of big city environments to reduced sleep health and broken sleep. With the cities in the top four positions being smaller, the findings of the study show a previously overlooked complexity to the topic under investigation. 

The findings came as a surprise to researchers, with a spokesperson commenting: “It was much more of a mixed bag than we envisaged. We expected bigger cities like London, Glasgow or Cardiff to come out on top.”

“What the results of the study showed, then, is that places (and people) aren’t always what they appear to be on the surface, and that sleep issues can impact anyone and everyone, for a myriad of reasons," the spokesperson concluded.


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