Britain becomes a nation of ‘Online-a-holics’

5th Dec 2010
Britain becomes a nation of ‘Online-a-holics’

Gone are the days when Britons liked nothing better then to be tucked up in bed with a mug of cocoa and a good book or the newspaper crossword puzzle. In today’s modern society, the nation is totally addicted to social networking. So much so, that 72% of adults spend their time in bed before falling asleep either updating or checking their friends status updates on Facebook – according to findings from a new report issued today.   

The bedtime behaviour study commissioned by Travelodge surveyed 6,000 adults to explore the nation’s bedtime habits and key findings revealed, Britons have become social networking addicts and are completely hooked to the web. So bad is the problem that adults are tweeting, poking, surfing and writing on each others’ walls even at bedtime. On average Britons will spend 16 minutes each night socially networking with pals between the sheets on Facebook – with the peak chatting time being 9.45pm.

A further 18% of adults tweet every night in bed whilst one in five Britons catch up on the latest news from their favourite celebrities and friends via Twitter.     

Further research findings revealed that 65% respondents stated the very last thing they do before nodding off at night is to check their mobile phone for text messages. On average Britons will spend around nine minutes every night texting before falling asleep. Four out of ten adults reported they have a regular text communication with friends in bed every night.

So bad is the obsession with bed-texting that 20% of Britons surveyed confessed they have stopped mid-way whilst making love with their partner to check on an incoming text message.


Twenty seven per cent of adults reported they are regularly awoken during the night by an incoming text message. Whilst a quarter of workers (25%) reported they frequently get a late night work related text from their boss.     

Fifty one per cent of British adults surveyed stated the very first thing they do when they wake up – before even getting out of bed is to check their mobile phone for new texts or emails. One in ten respondents reported they will respond to any texts that have come through the night before getting out of bed. 

Corinne Sweet, Psychologist, comments on the research findings: “We have become a nation of “online-a-holics’. This addiction for social networking supports Maslow’s theory of humans having three basic needs. One of these being the need for love, affection, belonging and self-worth and Facebook provides the perfect solution to fulfil this requirement. By socially networking we can fulfil our need to communicate and share our news in one hit with all of our contacts across the world 24 / 7 and obtain a comprehensive snapshot of what they are up to at any given time.”   

“Like all things there is a time and place and social networking should not take place between the sheets as it can be detrimental to our well being. By texting, tweeting, surfing and writing on our walls in bed we are nodding off with a busy mind which impacts upon our quality of sleep during the night. Bedtime should be associated with calming down and chilling out with a good book, listening to easy music, catching up with your partner or enjoying a love-making session; in order to get a night of deep, nourishing sleep. Make time earlier in the evening for social networking as it will help you distress after a hard day and prepare you for bedtime.” 

As well as socially networking, a quarter of the nation (25%) does their weekly grocery shopping between the sheets. Whilst one in ten adults settles any outstanding bills online before nodding off. Over a third of the nation (35%) likes to surf celebrity news websites in bed for the latest showbiz gossip before slumbering. 

With the festive season fast approaching 47% of respondents reported they are spending their time before falling asleep shopping for Christmas presents and making the necessary festive season arrangements.

One in ten Singletons surveyed admitted they like to check out online dating websites before falling asleep in the hope of finding their perfect partner.     

The study also revealed the time-honoured, faithful alarm clock is set to become obsolete with 84% of adults now using their mobile phone as an alarm clock - to help wake them up in the morning. In contrast in 2008 only 34%* of Britons used their mobile phone as a wake-up call. On average 36% of adults will get out of bed immediately once the alarm goes off whilst 42% like to press the snooze button a couple of times.

One in ten adults will set their daily alarm half an hour earlier than they need to get up - so that have 30mins of snooze time every day.   

Travelodge Sleep Director, Leigh McCarron said: “Alarm clocks have been shown to cause heart rhythm irregularities which can cause a heart attack. The alarm clock’s strident ringing tone can be a shock to the body and mind. My recommendation is to wake up naturally as the awakening is part of a natural sleep-wake cycle and it can help you feel less groggy. Make your last thought before sleeping to be your intention to wake up at a particular time and sleep in complete darkness to aid a natural wake-up call.” 

Listed below are details of famous celebrities who regularly tweet from their beds with a tweet message from them:

Russell Brand: I’m in bed with my cat Morrissey. He’d be furious if he knew I was writing this. He conveys affection by milking me, sans consent. Grim

Rob Brydon: “Almost ten hours of sleep, a modern day personal best!”

Paris Hilton: Going to bed. Tweet dreams my friends. Love Paris

Kim Kardashian: It’s November!!! Finally got a good night sleep and feel so much better! Have the best day ever!!!

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher – Tweeted a picture of themselves in bed to defuse the rumors that Ashton was having an affair.


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