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Cold weather makes it harder to get out of bed, study finds

A recent survey conducted by Andrews Heat for Hire has revealed that the average Briton spends an additional 24 hours in bed throughout the cold season.

People’s reluctance to confront the early morning cold causes them to hit the snooze button and delays the inevitability of actually getting out of bed, according to the findings.

Of those asked, 38 per cent of employed respondents said they were more likely to be late for work during winter because they found it harder to get up in the morning.

Statistics reveal that an ordinary person will be late for work seven times as a direct result of oversleeping, with 20% of those asked admitting that they’ve feigned illness to have a duvet day.

One in two Brits find it harder to get themselves out of bed in winter more than any other time of year, and a third think they are more likely to hit the snooze button when the mornings are dark and cold.

Following the revelations, an Andrews spokesman concluded: “Darker, colder mornings can make waking up in winter months more challenging than any other time of the year.

“And while an additional quarter of an hour snoozing each day doesn’t seem like a big sacrifice, over the course of the winter we lose an entire day to those few extra minutes in bed.”

Breaking it down further, it transpires that the Scottish are the quickest to get up when the weather’s bleak – possibly due to the fact that most residents are used to a slightly worse climate than some of the UK’s more southerly regions.

On average, the Scots spend an extra 14 minutes in bed when it’s cold outside. We found that those in Yorkshire are least likely to be quick risers, taking 17 additional minutes to rise.

One in two British citizens concede that they find it more difficult to get themselves out of bed in winter compared with any other time of the year, with a third admitting they are more likely to hit the snooze button when the mornings are dark and cold.

More than two in three of those asked say the lure of staying under the duvet is too tempting to turn down when it’s chilly outside.

It may seem slightly trivial but the link between bitter weather conditions and tardiness is plain for all to see.

With a cold snap predicted over the coming weeks, it seems there’s a very real likelihood that an extra few minutes in bed will become too inviting for the average person to turn down.

And the study shows that this tendency can often manifest itself in people being late for work or social occasions.


A full breakdown of the results is displayed below:

1. Generally, how easy or hard do you find it to get out of bed at each of the following times of year?                  

Choice

Spring

Very easy                            30.45% (609)

Easy                                       38.15% (763)

Neither easy nor hard         21.80% (436)

Hard                                      7.25% (145)

Very hard                            2.35% (47)

Summer

Very easy                            39.00% (780)

Easy                                       36.25% (725)

Neither easy nor hard         16.55% (331)

Hard                                      6.25% (125)

Very hard                            1.95% (39)

Autumn

Very easy                            18.70% (374)

Easy                                       30.50% (610)

Neither easy nor hard         29.05% (581)

Hard                                      17.80% (356)

Very hard                            3.95% (79)

Winter 

Very easy                            13.10% (262)

Easy                                       15.40% (308)

Neither easy nor hard         21.05% (421)

Hard                                      30.75% (615)

Very hard                            19.70% (394)

2. On a typical day, how much extra time do you think you spend in bed or snuggled with your duvet before getting out of bed after you have woken up? Please select best match (minutes)                            

Choice

1 – 5       13.25%  (265)

6 – 10     17.65%  (353)

11 – 15   16.50%  (330)

16-20     12.00%  (240)

21-25     6.55% (131)

26-30     8.55% (171)

31-35     2.20% (44)

36-40     1.10% (22)

41-45     0.75% (15)

46+         3.85% (77)

N/a – I always get up as soon as I wake up             17.60%  (352)

Average               16.08%

 

3. Do you find it more or less difficult to get out of bed when the weather is cold compared to when it is warm?                               

Choice

Much more difficult                        30.55%  (611)

Somewhat more difficult              37.50%  (750)

No difference / not sure                 29.30%  (586)

Somewhat less difficult                  1.20% (24)

Much less difficult                            1.45% (29)

 

4. Do you find it more or less difficult to get out of bed when the mornings are dark compared to when they are light?   

Choice

Much more difficult                        31.65%  (633)

Somewhat more difficult              36.60%  (732)

No difference / not sure                 29.70%  (594)

Somewhat less difficult                  1.00% (20)

Much less difficult                            1.05% (21)

 

5. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? ‘I take special action to ensure my bed set-up is warmer in the winter months’ (For example extra blankets, hot water bottle etc.)

Choice

Strongly agree                                   26.75%  (535)

Somewhat agree                              34.30% (686)

Neither agree nor disagree          22.60%  (452)

Somewhat disagree                        11.30%  (226)

Strongly disagree                             5.05% (101)

6. Which of the measures below do you take to make your bed warmer in the winter months?

Choice

Extra blanket                                                     44.88%  (548)

Electric blanket                                                 22.77%  (278)

Thicker duvet                                                    59.38%  (725)

Hot water bottle                                               28.91%  (353)

Move closer to the radiator/fireplace               4.10% (50)

None of the above                                           2.78% (34)

 

7. Have you ever been late for a social gathering or meet-up with friends during the winter months because you couldn’t tear yourself away from the covers to brave the cold?                

Choice

Yes                         20.00%  (400)

No / N/a                 80.00%  (1600)

 

8. Generally, how many times over the winter months will you be late for a social gathering or meet-up with friends because you couldn’t tear yourself away from the covers to brave the cold? Please select best match   

Choice

1 – 3       37.50%  (150)

4 – 6       23.50%  (94)

7 – 10     26.75%  (107)

11 – 15   8.50% (34)

16-20     2.00% (8)

21+         1.75% (7)

Average               6.03

 

9. Generally, how many times will you cancel a social gathering or meet-up with friends over the winter months just because you want to stay warm in your bed? Please select best match                 

Choice

1 – 3       12.25%  (245)

4 – 6       5.60% (112)

7 – 10     6.95% (139)

11 – 15   3.80% (76)

16-20     1.00% (20)

21+         0.50% (10)

N/a – I have never done this         69.90%  (1398)

Average               6.29%

10. Are you currently employed?

Choice

Yes         61.35%  (1227)

No          38.65%  (773)

 

11. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement? ‘I am more likely to be late for work during the winter months because I don’t want to get out of bed to brave the cold’                     

Choice

Strongly agree                                   10.11%  (124)

Somewhat agree                              28.28%  (347)

Neither agree nor disagree              22.82%  (280)

Somewhat disagree                        13.53%  (166)

Strongly disagree                             25.26%  (310)

 

12. How many times over the winter months do you think you will be late for work during the winter months because you don’t want to get out of bed to brave the cold? Please select best match

Choice

1 – 3       28.03%  (132)

4 – 6       18.90%  (89)

7 – 10     23.35%  (110)

11 – 15   10.62%  (50)

16-20     4.67% (22)

21+         2.55% (12)

N/a – I would never be late for work         11.89%  (56)

Average               7.09

 

13. Have you ever called in sick to work, just because you wanted to spend a day with your duvet?                       

Choice

Yes         20.86%  (256)

No          79.14%  (971)

 

14. Do you find it more or less difficult to work in the winter months compared to the other months of the year?                               

Choice

Much more difficult                        14.34%  (176)

Somewhat more difficult              36.76%  (451)

No difference / not sure                 46.45%  (570)

Somewhat less difficult                  1.87% (23)

Much less difficult                            0.57% (7)

 

15. Do you think you generally sleep more or less in the winter months compared to the other months of the year?               

Choice

Much more                                        10.45% (209)

Somewhat more                              36.40%  (728)

No difference / not sure                 50.30%  (1006)

Somewhat less                                  2.10% (42)

Much less                                            0.75% (15)

16. Which of the behaviours below do you think you observe in the winter months?                     

Choice

I set my morning alarm to a later time                                                             13.05%  (261)

I am more likely to hit the snooze button in the morning                                  32.20%  (644)

I go to bed earlier                                                                                             28.70% (574)

None of the above                                                                                           40.35%  (807)

 

17. Which of the below best describes you?

Choice

I am a night owl – I function better at night                               35.25%  (705)

I am an early bird – I function better in the mornings               34.75%  (695)

Neither                                                                                      30.00%  (600)

 

18. Do you tend to put your heating on in the morning in winter?

Choice

Yes         72.20%  (1444)

No          19.50%  (390)

N/a – I do not have control over my heating          8.30% (166)

 

19. Do you generally set the heating to come on before you wake up so it’s warm when you need to get out of bed?

Choice

Yes         70.29%  (1015)

No          29.71%  (429)

 

20. How soon before you wake up do you set the heating to turn on (and continuously be on)? Please select best match in minutes where 180 minutes = 3 hours, and 240 minutes = 4 hours.                      

Choice

0-30                       43.25%  (439)

31-60                     35.57%  (361)

61-90                     12.71%  (129)

91-120                   4.33% (44)

121-180                0.89% (9)

181-240                0.39% (4)

241+                      2.86% (29)

Average               45.89

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