Lowest earners three time more likely to suffer from poor sleep

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A new survey, commissioned by the charity Homeless Link, has revealed that the chance of getting a good night’s sleep is directly related to the size of your income. In the poll of 2,000 UK adults, more than three times as many people on the lowest incomes have trouble sleeping as those with the highest salaries.

We all know what it feels like to not get a good night’s sleep, and the barriers highlighted by this poll are faced by those on the streets every single night.

A new survey, commissioned by the charity Homeless Link, has revealed that the chance of getting a good night’s sleep is directly related to the size of your income. In the poll of 2,000 UK adults, more than three times as many people on the lowest incomes have trouble sleeping as those with the highest salaries.

Security of housing also has a part to play, with those renting more likely to report sleeping badly than homeowners.

The survey illustrates the significant impact that lack of sleep has on people’s wellbeing. 81% of respondents felt that lack of sleep seriously impacted their overall health, wellbeing and happiness. 58% reported relationships with family and friends being affected and almost half (48%) said their productivity at work had been affected.

Commissioned by the StreetLink rough sleeping service, the poll coincides with the launch of a campaign to help connect the estimated 2,400 people who sleep rough every night in England with support.

Evidence suggests that prolonged rough sleeping is bad for your health, with 8 in 10 of those who have slept on the streets reporting physical and mental health issues.

In the poll, stress (50%), noise (28%) and temperature (25%) were the top reasons for trouble sleeping, but financial stability is again a factor. 36% of those with the lowest incomes cite financial worries as the main reason for trouble sleeping, compared to 16% of the highest earners.

The #SleepWell campaign urges the public to contact StreetLink whenever they see someone sleeping rough this winter. StreetLink is an England-wide phone-line, website and mobile app which enables the public to alert local services if they are concerned about someone sleeping rough and help connect them with support.

Run by the charities Homeless Link and St. Mungo’s Broadway and funded by Government, StreetLink has connected 8,669 individuals to local services since it was launched in December 2012.

Commenting on the findings, Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said: “We all know what it feels like to not get a good night’s sleep, and the barriers highlighted by this poll are faced by those on the streets every single night. This winter, as temperatures drop and the weather turns, we urge people to consider how well they would sleep if they were on the streets. Many people sleeping rough are unaware that local help may be available to them. By contacting StreetLink you can help make that connection and ensure they receive the support they need to leave homelessness behind.”

StreetLink is England’s only free phone-line, website and mobile app that allows members of the public to send an alert when they see someone sleeping rough and connect them to local services. Call 0300 500 0914, visit http://www.streetlink.org.uk or download the app for Apple and Android devices.

ENDS

Media contacts:
Stephen Holland | Stephen(dot)holland(at)homelesslink(dot)org(dot)uk | 020 7840 4467
Ben Knox | ben(dot)knox(at)homelesslink(dot)org(dot)uk | 020 7840 4425

Interviews with rough sleeping outreach teams and former rough sleepers are available on request.

Notes to editors:

Since launching in December 2012:

•Public alerts to StreetLink have led to over 8,600 people being found and connected with help (on average 373 per month)
•More than 1,600 people have been supported into accommodation as a direct result of StreetLink referrals

About Homeless Link:
Homeless Link is the national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England. We work to make services better and campaign for policy change that will help end homelessness.

About St Mungo’s Broadway:
The charity provides a bed and support to more than 2,500 people a night who are either homeless or at risk, and works to prevent homelessness, helping about 25,000 people a year. We support men and women through more than 250 projects including emergency, hostel and supportive housing projects, advice services, specialist physical health, mental health and skills and work services, as well as managing projects including StreetLink and the Combined Homeless and Information Network (CHAIN). http://www.mungosbroadway.org.uk

About the survey:
The survey results are based on a nationally representative online omnibus of 2,000 people conducted by Populus, 15-16 November 2014.

Full data tables available on request.

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stephen holland
Homeless Link
+44 20 7840 4467
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