London - Forget complex theories – it seems the secret to a great night’s sleep is sex or a good book.

One in six women told a poll they sleep longer and deeper after sex, while 55 percent say their secret is a great book. The worst thing to do before bed is checking work emails, with 98 percent agreeing this keeps them awake.

Meanwhile 40 percent get their best sleep on a Friday night, followed by Saturday – when they are usually off work the next day, the survey also found. And 56 percent said Sunday nights are the worst for sleep.

The survey showed that women get to sleep for 80 minutes less than they need each night because family and work-related stresses keeps them awake.

A typical UK female gets just six hours 40 minutes' shut-eye rather than the eight hours recommended by doctors, with 1.6 million surviving on just four.


More than half of women (53 percent) claim to need eight or more hours of sleep each night to function well the next day.

But, individually, women are missing out on three weeks of sleep each year, research by skincare and bodycare experts Sanctuary Spa found.

That totals a staggering 15.5 billion hours for all women in Britain.

The study reveals the worst thing to do before trying to sleep is checking work emails, with 98 percent saying doing so keeps them awake.

Others things to avoid are eating (76 percent), caffeinated drinks (41 percent), checking social networking sites (28 percent), and exercise (16 percent).

The study found 10.29pm on a Friday is the best time to go to bed to get the best night sleep.

In fact, almost half of women (40 percent) believe they have the best kip on a Friday, followed by Saturdays, when they are usually off work the next day.

Over half (56 percent) say Sunday nights are the worst.

The majority of women believe a lack of sleep affects their health and wellbeing.

An overwhelming 97 percent say they feel “happier and healthier” after a good night’s sleep.

Factors that improve the chances of a great night’s sleep include hot baths (72 percent), comfy bedding (66 percent), clean sheets (35 percent) and scented candles (20 percent).

Work worries appear top of the list of things keeping women awake at night (48 percent), followed by money (34 percent) and a snoring partner (33 percent).

Sales manager Mary Oliver, 37, from Brighton, East Sussex, said stress caused by work and her two boys - aged four and six - keep her awake.

She said: “I need a good seven or eight hours sleep each night to feel fully refreshed.

“However I often get to bed late because I’m running around completing chores, or finishing work I have brought home with me.

“I often have trouble unwinding and dropping off, or wake early then have to get up to get myself and my boys ready, and take them to school. I feel continually tired.”

She added: “The boys sometimes stay with my parents, which allows me to have a long soak in the bath and some private time with my husband.

“I always sleep much better then.”

Nichola Joss, Sanctuary Spa skincare expert and celebrity facialist, said: “A good night's sleep can undoubtedly be difficult to come by.

“It's important to prepare the mind and body for sleep with a calming pre-bed routine. Ban technology for an hour before and have a warm candlelit bath to relax your body, muscles and mind.

“It's essential women get a minimum of eight hours sleep a night to allow skin to rejuvenate and repair overnight.

“Much of the body's regenerative work, like protein building, happens during sleep, so without a good amount of sleep, skin will begin to age prematurely and lose radiance.

“Fragrance can be a powerful factor in helping you drift off to sleep, so light a scented candle, which will help create a calming and peaceful atmosphere and encourage a restful sleep.”

Just remember to blow it out before you drop off... - Daily Mail