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Canberra ranks as the best city for getting a good night’s sleep.  The average person loses 401 hours of sleep a year – nearly 17 days

By Lenstore

Getting enough sleep is vital for general health, mental wellbeing, and fighting off infection. To identify which cities are getting the best rest, contact lens retailer Lenstore has looked at where in the world people are sleeping easy.

Sleep is a valuable commodity in the modern world. With noise, light pollution and stress keeping many of us from having a complete night of sleep, it’s more important than ever to try to get a full eight hours.

While some may turn to medication, exercise, or activities like yoga to help them drift off, an environment that’s conducive to sleep can be very beneficial in helping to switch off.

As sleep is also vital for maintaining healthy vision, eye experts Lenstore have investigated which cities around the world offer the best chances of getting rest.

Based on figures like the level of light pollution, the air quality, and the mental health of the population, the research covers sleeping in each city – but also tracks how much sleep we’re giving up each night because of poor conditions.

Canberra is the best city in the world for sleep

While it’s possible to adapt to sleeping almost anywhere, ideal conditions can make it much easier to drift off. 

These are the top cities where residents – and potentially visitors – can get their rest:

The top 5 best cities for a good night sleep are:

  1. Canberra, Australia – The Aussie capital ranks best of all locations for its lowest amount of night lights and noise pollution, which has a score of 80.82 out of 100.
  2. Vienna, Austria – Ranking in the top 10 locations for its low noise levels, Vienna is a great place to get some rest, despite the number of searches for sleeping pills sitting in the upper half of results.
  3. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Just 7.6% of residents in Luxembourg are working more than 48 hours per week, and it also boasts the sixth-best air quality of all locations analysed.
  4. Jerusalem, Israel – Jerusalem has the ideal climate for sleep, with the closest temperature to the ideal (19.2°C compared with 18.3°C) and the lowest humidity.
  5. Tokyo, Japan – Japan has the fewest people in need of medication, with one of the lowest search volumes for sleeping pills per 100,000 people at only 18 searches per 100,000 people.

US Capital the worst place to catch some shut eye

Conversely, the worst locations for getting a night’s rest are the following:

  1. Washington, USA – More people are searching for “sleeping pills” in Washington than anywhere else covered in the research, with 224 searches per 100,000 people.
  2. Santiago, Chile – The air quality in Santiago is rated the worst, at a score of only 17.72 out of 100.
  3. San José, Costa Rica – San José had the highest humidity listed, at an average of 83%.
  4. Warsaw, Poland – Warsaw suffers from both poor air quality and high humidity.
  5. Bogota, Columbia – 27.80% of the population of Bogota are working over 48 hours a week, the second highest in the research after Mexico City.
  6. Budapest, Hungary – Budapest’s humidity and moderate trouble with noise and lights keep them up at night.
  7. Paris, France – Paris suffers from noise and night lights as well as poorer air quality.
  8. Brussels, Belgium – Brussels is a busy city with a lot of noise and light, but it’s also one of the worst for humidity.
  9. Rome, Italy – Like several of the larger cities in the research, Rome suffers from late-night noise and light as well as poor air quality.
  10. London, UK – Unsurprisingly, the UK capital has trouble with noise and light at night, likely due to its busy population.

Losing sleep over time

The average person gets six hours and 54 minutes of sleep each night according to studies, and whilst this may seem relatively normal, we should be getting a full eight hours. That means we miss out on a staggering 66 minutes of quality rest daily.

These figures stack up significantly over long periods – this is how much sleep time you might be sacrificing if you cut it short:

Time period Hours of sleep lost on average
1 night 1 hour 6 minutes
1 week 7 hours 42 minutes
1 month 33 hours
1 year 401 hours 30 minutes
5 years 2,008 hours 38 minutes
10 years 4,017 hours 12 minutes
20 years 8,035 hours 30 minutes
50 years 30,619 hours and 17.2 minutes

How can lack of sleep impact your vision?

Roshni Patel BSC (Hons) MCOptom comments on the importance of sleep on your vision.

“Sleep is important when it comes to protecting your vision, and lack of rest can quickly present with signs and symptoms across your eyes, including dark circles, drooping eyelids, twitchy eyes, or spasms and puffy eyes. Lack of sleep can also increase your chances of developing an infection in your eye.

“To lose over 30,000 hours of sleep over 50 years is both staggering and shocking and will undoubtedly have effects on not only your eye health but overall health and wellbeing.”

But it’s not just your eyes that suffer. Joe Mitton, Personal Trainer, and owner of Mitt-Fit stresses the importance of sleep on our health: 

“Sleep plays a vital role in our physical and mental health for both positive and negative reasons. Not enough sleep will hinder your recovery, focus, stress, and energy levels as well as affecting your hormonal balance, with the most severe cases of insomnia even leading to psychiatric conditions as well as many unfavourable health consequences. 

And it can take a toll on your mental acuity, too, as Suzanna Guest, Occupational Psychologist comments: 

‘We know that sleep can impact our cognitive function. If we’ve had a bad night’s sleep, concentration will be impaired, and this can also impact our memory and ability to make good decisions. In addition, lack of sleep can make our reactions slower, and we are also more easily overstimulated. This can make demanding tasks more difficult and possibly dangerous.’

A full list of the best and worst cities for a good night’s sleep can be found here.