Where is the best place to live for a Good Night’s Sleep?

Is Southampton better than Sheffield for a snooze? Is it easy to drift off in Derby? Does living in Cardiff keep you up at night or are you groggy when you get up in Glasgow?

We’ve researched each city in the UK with a population of over 200,000, comparing several factors that impact sleep to find out which places are the best and worst to live for a good night’s rest.

The Best and Worst UK Cities for a Good Night’s Sleep

Using data from a range of sources, we ranked each city based on these six key factors. (See bottom of the page for full methodology and dataset.)

Anxiety Levels

Average anxiety levels of people living in each city

Noise Pollution

% of people affected by noise over 65 decibels from roads, railways and industry

Life Satisfaction Rating

Average life satisfaction rating of people living in each city

Sleep Supplements Searches

Number of searches for 5-HTP and Melatonin per 100k population

Unemployment

% of people claiming unemployment benefits

Access to Green Spaces

Average distance to nearest park, public garden, or playing field

Rank  CityAnxiety LevelsNoise PollutionLife Satisfaction RatingSleep Supplement SearchesUnemployment Average Distance to Park (m)
1.Stoke-on-Trent2.912%7.71406.7%217
2. Leicester2.99%7.61546.3%309
3.Cardiff3.210%7.6796.3%293
4.Southampton2.916%7.51525.7%
349
5.Derby2.88%7.61817.5%315
6.Sheffield3.311%7.62066.3%315
7.Portsmouth2.921%7.71655.7%380
8.Coventry2.95%7.51916.5%341
9.Brighton3.623%7.62296.5%307
10.Plymouth36%7.62465.9%362
11.Bradford349%7.61079.4%323
12.Bristol3.213%7.43085.1%276
13.Hull3.24%7.51749.6%395
14.Liverpool3.216%7.42258.5%275
15.Nottingham3.623%7.32416.2%290
16.Birmingham323%7.42059.6%371
17.Edinburgh3.622%7.62764.8%309
18.London3.224%7.42237.7%268
19.Leeds3.135%7.52356.8%345
20.Manchester362%7.53167.8%320
21.Newcastle3.528%7.52647.3%264
22.Glasgow3.164%7.53306.9%338
RankCity
1.Stoke-on-Trent
2.Leicester
3.Cardiff
4.Southampton
5.Derby
6.Sheffield
7.Portsmouth
8.Coventry
9.Brighton
10.Plymouth
11.Hull
12.Liverpool
13.Nottingham
14.Birmingham
15.Edinburgh
16.London
17.Leeds
18.Manchester
19.Newcastle
20.Glasgow

Stoke-on-Trent is the Best UK City for a Good Night's Sleep

With the shortest average distance to green spaces of any city and the highest average life satisfaction rating, alongside low monthly searches for sleep supplements, low anxiety levels and a small percentage of people affected by noise pollution, Stoke-on-Trent has been revealed as the best city in the UK for a good night's sleep.

Glasgow is the Worst UK City for a Good Night's Sleep

With the highest percentage of people affected by noise pollution of any city, alongside the highest number of searches for sleep supplements, a lower than average life satisfaction rating and a high average distance to green spaces, Glasgow has been revealed as the worst city in the UK for a good night's sleep.

An Expert's View

Nicky Blakeman

Nicky is a qualified adult sleep coach, a former sufferer of insomnia and a Mum of three. Here, she explains how each factor in the index impacts sleep, along with her tips for a better night’s rest.

Anxiety

Anxiety can trigger the body’s stress response which can cause the brain to inhibit your ability to sleep.

A lack of sleep can lead to an increase in anxiety, causing an unfortunate downward spiral effect where you sleep less, get more anxious and then your sleep is disrupted even more.

Noise Pollution

The World Health Organisation has established that there is a link between environmental noise at night and sleep disturbance, recommending that the decibel level for night time should be a maximum of 40db.

The WHO also stated that levels above 55db could be a risk to public health, given the link between sleep disruption and poor overall health.

Life Satisfaction

Increased worry can inhibit sleep and when you're happy, you worry less. In addition, some studies have shown that people who get more sleep are happier than those that don’t get enough which creates a positive upward spiral.

When you are happy, you sleep better, you can be more likely to have rational, positive thoughts than you would if you were sleep deprived, which can have a positive impact on your sleep.

Sleep Supplements

Scientists believe the hormone melatonin helps regulate the timing of sleep. Melatonin is produced in the brain and one of the building blocks for its production is 5-HTP.

5-HTP is also needed for the production of serotonin, another hormone that research has linked to improved mood and reduced stress. So, together serotonin and melatonin help to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and 5-HTP supports the production of both.

Unemployment

Being out of work can increase anxiety and stress levels, causing you to worry and be unhappy which can inhibit sleep and keep you up at night.

Access to Green Spaces

Getting outside and exposing yourself to daylight helps the brain to regulate sleep and easy access to green space encourages you to spend more time outside.

Even just thirty minutes outside in the morning can be beneficial for regulating sleep patterns. Getting out in nature also helps some people to relax and switch off from everyday stresses.

Nicky’s Top Three Tips to Improve Your Sleep

1

Set a daily sleep and wake routine every day and stick to it, even on weekends and practice good sleep hygiene - this includes making sure your diet is healthy to support the production of the hormones you need for sleep.

2

Learn techniques for relaxation and managing your thoughts so you're able to get back to sleep quicker when you wake in the night rather than being kept up for hours by your thoughts.

3

Make sure your bedroom provides a relaxing and secure environment, and reduce sources of disturbance to help your brain know that it is a good place to sleep.

Full methodology and dataset can be viewed here:

Methodology