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More than 40% of UAE residents are not getting enough quality sleep

A recent sleep survey conducted by Premier Inn Middle East in collaboration with Silentnight Arabia, UK's most trusted sleep brand, has revealed new insights into the sleep quality and habits of UAE residents. The survey, which polled more than 950 individuals ahead of Sleep Awareness Week from 10 to 16 March and World Sleep Day on 15 March, shows that more than 40% of UAE residents are not getting the right amount of sleep and can improve their sleep quality significantly.


Simon Leigh, Managing Director, Premier Inn Middle East, said: “Our survey findings underscore the massive opportunity for people to enhance their sleep quality. At Premier Inn, we are invested in sleep and understand the crucial role it plays in overall well-being. Through our partnership with Silentnight Arabia, we're committed to providing our guests with cutting-edge sleep technology in our rooms and sleep tips to take home with.”

Quality of Sleep

While the majority of respondents (80%) reported that they feel as though they get a good’s night of sleep with 56% sleeping 6 to 8 hours per night, a whopping 41% sleep less than 6 hours per night.

Hannah Shore, sleep expert at Silentnight Arabia comments; “Adults should aim for 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep per night, 6 hours is on the lower end. We must allow our bodies the right amount of time in each stage of sleep to fully recover - 5 cycles of 90 minutes per night. Deep sleep repairs the body physically whereas light sleep benefits the brain function and emotional processing.” 

“Alarmingly, more than 40% of respondents sleep less than 6 hours per night. This substantial percentage questions the accuracy of self-perceived sleep quality. While most respondents rate their sleep as good or excellent, a high number is not getting the right amount of sleep and could improve their sleep quality significantly.”

Sleep Disturbances

A third (32%) of respondents indicated that they suffer from an irregular sleep schedule. Shore explains: “A consistent sleep schedule ensures a good night of sleep. Irregular sleep patterns, like late nights and weekend lie-ins, lead to social jetlag, making Monday mornings much tougher.”

Sleep can be disrupted by many factors; stress being number 1 in the survey (48%). “Stress triggers elevated levels of cortisol, which disrupts the production of sleep hormones. This response originates from our primal instincts: we only sleep when we feel safe.”

Temperature and climate also scored high on the survey (36%). “Maintaining a slightly cooler core body temperature is crucial for good quality sleep. While airconditioning is common in our hot climate, its noise and air drying effect can disrupt sleep.” Interestingly, almost 80% of people report that they sleep best in winter due to naturally lower temperatures, reducing the need for air conditioning.

Using electronic devices before bedtime also ranks high on the list (26%). “They aren’t as bad as often thought. While excessive blue light exposure can disturb sleep, content like meditation, podcasts, or familiar TV shows can actually be soothing.”

“Background noises at bedtime are beneficial, but they should be low in volume and have gentle tones to promote sleep. Noises like construction (25%) or traffic (24%) tend to ## us and cause wakenings.”

Sleep Habits

Sleep Routines

An effective wind-down routine helps the body and mind relax from the day's activities. The most popular sleep routine among respondents is to watch TV before bed (35%). Shore elaborates: “This can be a great way to help your brain switch off from the day, as long as it’s something familiar and comforting, like a re-run of Friends.”

Avoiding caffeine (34%) ranks second on the list. “Caffeine binds to brain receptors, telling us we're awake. But if consumed too close to bedtime, its effects might linger due to its long half-life, which can last up to 10 hours! When opting for herbal teas and juices (18%), make sure they are caffeine free.”

Evening routines should facilitate a decrease in body temperature. 23% of respondents actively lower the room temperature. “However, activities such as exercising (13%), hot baths and large meals can all cause spikes in our core body temperature, therefore we should avoid doing these too close to bedtime.”

Listening to podcasts or music (23%), and reading a book (15%) are also popular hobbies before bedtime.

Last thing before bed

34% of people brush their teeth as the last thing they do before bed. “This can actually be quite stimulating, says Shore, with bright bathroom lights and strong minty toothpaste waking the body up again.”

Checking social media before bed ranks second with 29%. “Having a quick glance or watching some random videos might help certain people switch off from the day. Set a timer so you don’t lose too many valuable hours of sleep time. A substantial 25% of people end their day by saying a prayer which compliments a calm and relaxing wind-down routine.”

Going to bed

The majority of respondents (55%) reported going to bed between 10pm and midnight, while a significant number (27%) goes to sleep after midnight.

“The time which we go to bed is unique to each of us”, explains Shore. “It depends on the circadian rhythm, our internal body clock, that regulates our sleep-wake cycle and chronotype; morning or evening person. Chronotypes may change, shifting towards later sleep in adolescence – this is why teenagers lay in bed all day - and towards more morning-oriented routines in later stages of life.”

Waking up

Nearly half (47%) of the respondents wake up between 6am and 8am, and 36% between 4am and 6am. These wake-up times are most likely set by work and school schedules.

The big driving force for waking up is the alarm clock (81%), followed by family members or roommates (30%), light exposure (27%) and bird song (7%). Other wake-up aids include the sound of a kettle boiling, the smell of breakfast, the body's circadian rhythm, and the call to prayer.

Shore comments: “If people had a more regular sleeping pattern, their body would have a natural time at which it wakes up. We shouldn’t turn all alarms off, however, waking up a few minutes before your alarm is a sign of a good sleep routine. Bright morning light also helps people to rise and shine as it supresses the production of melatonin making us feel more awake.”

Hannah Shore’s Top 10 to sleep better

  • TV and devices: Tech isn’t always bad. If you are using a device before bed, use it in eye comfort mode to create calming sounds, listen to podcasts or breathing exercises. 
  • Music, pink and white sounds: Certain sounds can help you sleep such as ocean waves, rainfall and a buzzing fan.
  • Airconditioning: Dry air from the airconditioning can lead to dryness within the skin, throat and nose which can increase snoring. Using a humidifier can help.
  • Socks: Bed socks can increase the blood circulation which can help with cooling the body down. 
  • Earplugs: Invest in quality earplugs to block out construction and traffic noises if you live in an area prone to them.
  • Sleep trackers: This a great way to monitor your sleep if used correctly.
  • Pillows: Pick the right pillow to match your sleeping style: front and back sleepers require thin pillows, while side sleepers need thicker ones to support the gap between the ear and shoulder edge.
  • Bright Light: Bright light at sunrise can easily wake you by halting sleep hormone production. Use blackout blinds, curtains, or an eye mask at home to block out this brightness.
  • Work: Taking work to bed can overstimulate our minds, making it hard to switch off. If you must work in your bedroom, set up a dedicated workspace to create separation between work and sleep.
  • Bed sharing: When sharing a bed, you’ll have to prioritise each other’s sleep. Separate mattresses, beds and bedrooms are more common than you think.

For the complete overview of all sleep survey results, click here. At Premier Inn, we are all about sleep. Guests can rest easy at 11 hotels throughout Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. For bookings, please visit or call +971 600 500 503.

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