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  • New research reveals worrying sleep issues amongst UK students, with stress and anxiety found to be a leading impact on sleep
  • News comes as university students face increased levels of stress and anxiety due to Covid-19 displacement
  • Students claim UK universities not offering sufficient support and understanding for chronic sleep issues, as 19% of students turn to alcohol to help aid sleep
  • Financial stress (44%) and worries about getting a job after university (32%) leaving students unable to sleep

New research released today has found that the UK’s university students are facing unprecedented sleep problems which are having a serious impact on their health- with over half (51%) citing stress or anxiety to be affecting their ability to sleep.

As universities around the country are closed due to Covid-19, leaving students feeling particularly vulnerable with a knock-on effect on their mental health, the research suggests that increased stress and anxiety may impact sleep at a more significant level as students navigate studying from home.

The research, released by student accommodation search engine Mystudenthalls.com, has looked into the quality of student sleep for full time UK university students and found that the mental health epidemic is seriously affecting students’ ability to sleep- with worrying consequences. Almost one in five (19%) university students are getting less than just 5 hours of sleep a night, with sleep deprivation leaving them exhausted on average 4 times a week. A huge 38% say that sleep problems have made their overall mental health worse, and over a quarter (26%) say it has resulted in poorer grades.

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With the average annual tuition costs coming in at over £9K, almost half (44%) of students claim financial worries keep them awake at night. Factors such as course workloads (42%) and worries about grades (35%) have been found to be other leading concerns that are stopping students from being able to sleep.

A staggering 19% of university students have turned to alcohol to help aid their sleep, and 21% are practicing meditation purely to try and sleep. This comes as no surprise, as over a third (36%) of students feel that there is insufficient support or understanding from their university regarding the impact of sleep problems on mental health. The research suggests there is more to be done by universities to ensure that the impact of poor sleep is managed- particularly as students across the country find themselves living, working and studying from home.

Dan Roberts, Founder, and Director of  comments,  “With universities across the nation closed, students have had to switch over to an at-home, online learning format. But for many students, attending lectures through this method isn’t as stress-free as it sounds. Students have always been under a lot of pressure to perform academically, and it’s clear that this is causing students a lot of stress, and in particular, having an effect on their ability to rest.

It’s important that universities, as well as other student services and institutions, are monitoring students’ health and wellbeing during these unprecedented times. They may need to start ensuring they are offering more support than usual to compensate for issues preventing students from not getting enough quality sleep, such as work environments and workloads.” 

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