Sleep Manifesto 2024

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Dreaming of change

A Manifesto for Sleep

The UK is in the midst of a sleep crisis that’s having a profound and escalating impact on our health, the economy and society as a whole.

Our research has found that nine in ten people are experiencing problems with their sleep due to issues like sleep poverty and workplace stress, and yet the normalisation of poor sleep has resulted in 14 million+ suffering in silence with undiagnosed sleep disorders.

Even worse, when those people who hit rock bottom do eventually seek support for their sleep troubles, the combination of poor clinical training in primary care and lack of availability of NICE face-to-face Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), means only a fraction of people get the support they need.

We need a reset and in our new report, Dreaming of Change: A Manifesto for Sleep, we’re calling for the Government to develop a National Sleep Strategy to tackle the problem and make a transformational difference to the lives and wellbeing of many millions of people.

We believe that a National Sleep Strategy should include three key measures:


Sleep education and sleep support advice should be embedded as a central feature in all public health campaigns and a standalone sleep education campaign should be launched.


Existing health conversation frameworks should be used to deliver advice on sleep through millions of routine health interactions, in the same way that health professionals are trained to offer routine advice on stopping smoking, getting active and reducing alcohol


The quality of NHS support available for patients with insomnia or sleep apnoea should be improved, with all patients offered a choice of NICE-approved face-to-face or digital treatments, regardless of where they live, and GPs and other health professionals should be trained to identify the best options and how to access them.

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The Numbers

1 in 3

people with insomnia symptoms have been diagnosed with the condition.

6 years

is the length of time people are experiencing sleep issues for, on average, without seeking support for them.


of workers cite the workplace, with factors including workload, job security worries and out of hours messages and emails as a cause for poor sleep.


experience sleep poverty, where poor living conditions, noise pollution and uncomfortable sleep environments reduce sleep quality.


have engaged in high risk behaviours when unable to fall asleep.


1 in 20

are aware of the extent of the links between prolonged poor sleep and health conditions.

Sleep Manifesto

Read the Dreaming of Change report

Want to support us on this mission? Download the Supporters Pack

Read the full news release

BSS Statement of Support for Sleep Charity Sleep Manifesto

“The British Sleep Society (BSS) strongly supports the Sleep Charity’s publication Dreaming of Change: A Manifesto for Sleep

Sleep disorders are common, with over 80 distinct primary sleep disorders affecting around a third of the general population in Western Europe. In the UK, 37% of adults experience insomnia and an estimated 2.5 million individuals are living with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnoea syndrome (OSAHS) with the latter demonstrating rapidly increasing prevalence due to the ongoing obesity pandemic and an aging population. Many of these patients are undiagnosed – data suggests 85% of individuals with are OSAHS in the UK are undiagnosed – or experience significant delays to diagnosis; narcolepsy is associated with on average over a 10-year delay to diagnosis. The impact of sleep disorders, particularly when unrecognised and untreated, is significant. There is substantial variation in the delivery of sleep medicine across the NHS and NHS England data demonstrates rising numbers of referrals to sleep services, and a significant backlog following the COVID19 pandemic.

We join the call for a National Sleep Strategy to address the rising personal, health, social and economic costs of sleep disorders across the UK.

The Sleep Charity would like to thank Idorsia Pharmaceuticals for the funding of this programme of activity.

Making dreams of change a reality

We are eager to work with brilliant partners in the NHS, Government and the private sector to make the dream of good sleep a reality to improve the health, wellbeing and productivity of millions of people.

If you are interested in working with us, please contact our Communications & Partnerships Manager, Charlotte Fawcett at