New research released today has found that that over half (51%) of UK university students claim stress or anxiety to be the cause of sleep disturbance, with financial stress a leading cause (44%) - and 1 in 5 students getting fewer than 5 hours sleep each night.
The research, released by student accommodation search engine Mystudenthalls.com, has looked into the quality of student sleep for UK university students and found that the mental health epidemic is seriously affecting students' ability to sleep- with worrying consequences.
With the average annual tuition costs coming in at over £9K, almost half (44%) of students claim financial stresses keep them awake at night; a quarter (26%) stress about juggling work and study, to make ends meet. Factors such as course workloads (42%) and worries about grades (35%) have been found to be other leading causes of sleep deprivation for students.
Worryingly, 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.
The sleep crisis is also hugely affecting students' academic performance, which comes asnew research has found an increase in students dropping out of UK universities; a huge 40% said they miss classes and lectures due to being tired. Students battling sleep issues said they struggle to take in information during lectures (47%), with 1 in 4 (25%) students admitting they have even fallen asleep in class and shockingly, almost 1 in 10 (9%) have fallen asleep standing up. Nine in ten (95%) students say they could perform better if they had better sleep.
UK universities are leaving students feeling unsupported with their lack of sleep- with over a third (36%) feeling that there is insufficient support and understanding at their university for how students' studies and mental health can be affected by sleep problems.
Dan Roberts, Founder, and Director of Mystudenthalls.com comments, "Students are under a lot of pressure to perform academically, whilst also maintaining a fun and social lifestyle. It's clear that this is causing students a lot of stress, and in particular, is having an effect on their ability to rest. Universities, as well as other student services and institutions may need to start ensuring they are monitoring factors that could be preventing students from not getting enough quality sleep.
The environment in which students live is incredibly important for accommodating sufficient rest with a sensible work-life balance. It's really important that students live somewhere that not only suits their budget and lifestyle but also supports their overall wellness. More and more providers are offering student accommodation that include on-site health and social facilities like eateries, gyms, and dedicated study areas; as we now see a shift in focus to create unique and vibrant student communities which help students thrive at university whilst maintaining their mental and physical health."