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Half the UK are struggling to sleep during lockdown, research finds

Have you been struggling?

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A new survey says that over half of the UK population is struggling with sleep during the lockdown. 

Research from King’s College London suggests that sleep problems are more common when people are facing financial hardship, something I think we can definitely all relate to. 

According to the research, two in five people have reported more vivid dreams, while some people have been sleeping for longer but not feeling rested.

The research took place via online interviews in late May with 2,254 UK residents aged between 16 and 75, and was carried out by Ipsos MORI and King’s College London. 

Kings College London

“As with so much about Covid-19, the crisis is affecting people very differently depending on their circumstances, and that includes the most fundamental aspects of life, such as sleep,” said Prof Bobby Duffy of King’s College London.

Nearly two-thirds of the public have reported a negative impact on their sleep showing just how unsettling the pandemic and lockdown measures have been on the public. 

As with most things, there are signs that this is having a disproportionate impact on particular groups; women, young people and those facing financial difficulties. 

Stephen Oliver / Unsplash

Disturbed sleep is often caused by stress and can itself increase stress levels, which creates a vicious cycle which is difficult to break, according to Dr Ivana Rosenzweig of Kings College. 

On the other hand, the report also highlighted that a quarter of the participants reported that they were sleeping more. 

Rosenzweig said that this demonstrates that: “as a society, we simply do not get the chance to sleep as much as we need, and that this pandemic is allowing some of us to rediscover the importance of sleep”.

Previous research has already been done to explain why some people were suffering from vivid dreams throughout lockdown. 

Many people across the world have reported not only having more vivid and weirder dreams, but being able to fully remember them when they had woken up.

Although there are many contributing factors that stem from the lockdown, the main one being increased stress and anxiety in general, especially regarding finances.

Other reasoning comes down to much more specific factors. For instance, being home more means are home are warmer, and when you’re warmer during sleep you naturally have more vivid dreams.

Cabin fever, lack of social contact, more monotonous life and lie-ins are all also contributing to our weird dreams. 

Damir Spanic / Unsplash

If you are struggling with sleep here are some main points from the NHS on how to get to sleep and tips on tackling insomnia:

  • Sleep at regular times – a good routine tricks the internal body clock
  • Make sure you wind down, for instance, take a bath
  • Make your bedroom a relaxing environment 
  • Keep a sleep diary
  • Increase exercise – getting active helps to relieve tension
  • Cut down caffeine
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Try relaxing before bed such as gentle yoga, meditation or a warm bath
  • Write your anxieties down before bed

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Greater Manchester town officially named one of the happiest places to live in UK

Well-deserved?

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Rept0n1x / Wikimedia

A Greater Manchester town has been named among the 20 happiest places to live in the UK, alongside a couple of other North West spots.

Altrincham was placed in the top 20 of Britain’s happiest places to live in an annual survey, coming in at number 17 in Rightmove’s survey.

St Ives, a seaside town in Cornwall, took the number one spot, while Galashiels in Scotland came in a respectable second.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

Other North West areas in the top 20 were Northwich (16) and Macclesfield (18).

Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index asked more than 21,000 people their thoughts on where they live.

Each area is ranked on factors like whether people feel there is a sense of belonging, local amenities, whether there is a community spirit and the proximity to green spaces.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

According to Rightmove, these are Britain’s happiest places to live in 2022 (including the average house price and average asking monthly rental price):

1) St Ives, South West – £523,731, £1,152

2) Galashiels, Scotland – £153,546, £530

3) Woodbridge, East of England – £481,978, £1,196

4) Hexham, North East – £262,265, £810

5) Perth, Scotland – £179,410, £812

6) Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber – £381,124, £1,327

7) Anglesey, Wales – £324,048, £766

8) Bury St Edmunds, East of England – £334,160, £1,368

9) Stirling, Scotland – £197,075, £990

10) Cirencester, South West, £382,065 – £1,331

11) Richmond-upon-Thames, London – £1,153,347, £3,931

12) Falmouth, South West – £373,752, £1,289

13) Monmouth, Wales – £331,844, £1,104

14) Leamington Spa, West Midlands – £383,553, £1,274

15) Worcester, West Midlands – £286,250, £1,059

16) Northwich, North West – £246,995, £942

17) Altrincham, North West – £615,246, £2,297

18) Macclesfield, North West – £292,078, £1,146

19) Newbury, South East – £380,842, £1,364

20) Llandudno, Wales – £260,245, £760

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Northern to start using new technology to catch train fare dodgers

‘This technology will be invaluable for our gate line and revenue protection colleagues’

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Northern has announced that they will be bringing in some brand new technology to catch train fare dodgers.

Britain’s second largest train operator is planning to install the system within station barriers at ‘known hotspots’, the BBC reports.

The technology will automatically detect whether a ticket is valid, and alert rail staff for any additional checks, or if the customer has the right railcard.

Jon David Houghton / Wikimedia Commons

According to Northern, around 180 fare dodgers were caught in a single day when they trialled the system at Manchester Victoria in November.

Northern’s Customer and Commercial Director Mark Powles said: “This technology will be invaluable for our gate line and revenue protection colleagues whose job it is to ensure ticket checks are carried out quickly and efficiently.

“Unfortunately, we know that a small minority of customers try to exploit the automated nature of barrier checks to travel on tickets they know they’re not eligible to use.”

Mikey / Flickr

Powles added that the kit was ‘very easy’ to install, saying it could be: “deployed to known hotspots across the whole network to help tackle this fraudulent activity”.

The Department for Transport confirmed last month that anyone travelling on a train without a ticket can be fined £100 from January 23rd, rising from £20. 

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Man, 33, charged following attempted kidnapping of schoolgirl

A 33-year-old has been arrested and charged

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Google Maps / Greater Manchester Police

Police have charged a man, following the release of CCTV footage featuring a car used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on Monday, November 21st.

Detectives also believe the same man tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

Google Maps

Officers have confirmed that Sean Anthony Gillings (06/09/1989) of no fixed abode has been charged, following an appeal to the public.

This appeal resulted in the arrest of 33-year-old Gillings, who was then questioned and charged on Tuesday November 29th.

He also remains on bail for the other two attempt kidnaps, while further investigations are ongoing.

Gillings was remanded in custody yesterday, Wednesday November 30th, to appear at Manchester Crown Square Court on Wednesday January 4th 2023.

Police previously confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers on Monday November 28th, on suspicion of three counts of attempted kidnap.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Officers identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, of GMP’s Salford CID, previously said: “Although we have made this arrest, we are still very much looking to speak to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage, which could help us to establish the circumstances.

“We understand that the local community will be concerned but we are doing all we can to solve this investigation.

“I’d urge anyone who knows anything at all to please get in touch as soon as possible. In particular we are interested in the movements of a Black Vauxhall Astra 08 plate with a silver driver’s wing mirror cover; the passenger side is black.”

Police believe the incidents happened at the following times:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm
  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am
  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

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