The most searched sleep questions in 2020

December 14, 2020 4 mins read
The most searched sleep questions in 2020

Every day, thousands of people across the world hop onto their keyboards to find information about their health. While Google is jokingly labelled Dr Google, the statistics tell an entirely un-funny story. Internet searches are skyrocketing for more and more people looking for answers to their sleep problems.

We did some digging and compiled a list of the Top 20 sleep questions you’ve been asking in 2020. From pets to sleep duration and babies, here’s what UK sleepers want to know:

How much sleep do I need?

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the top sleep query for 2020. It seems the UK as a nation needs more clarity on how much sleep is necessary to function well. On average, adults require 7-9 hours. Children need more sleep, especially babies when they are growing at a rapid rate.

Why can’t I sleep?

Coming in at second place is “why can’t I sleep.” There are many reasons why falling asleep may be an uphill battle including insomnia, stress and anxiety. According to Oxford University, 2020 has been particularly gruelling on our sleep habits, with 63% of people surveyed by Kings College London reporting they struggled to sleep. Financial difficulties brought on by Covid have impacted 62% of people who said job losses have brought on sleepless nights.

There were 4,900 searches for “how to sleep” and 4,500 for “how to sleep better,” placing these questions in the third and fourth spots respectively.

Sleep disorders

There was keen interest in sleep apnea, with 3,100 searches throughout the year. Rounding up the top 10 is, “what is sleep paralysis.” It seems the disturbing disorder, which is often linked with nightmares and night terrors, has affected a large number of people, judging from the high amount of searches, at 2,100.

Excessive sleep appears to be a concern for many, as it clocks in at number 15. Sleeping too much can be linked to depression, sleep deprivation or underlying illnesses. Spending too much time snoozing can put you at a higher risk for diabetes, weight gain, heart disease and stroke.

Pets and sleep

The UK really is a pet-loving nation as searches for the sleep duration of dogs and cats were wildly popular terms featuring in the 10th and 12th spots. According to, dogs snooze for about 12 hours a day. They also spend less than 10% in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and make up for it throughout the day.

Cats on the other hand can sleep for up to 15 hours a day. This allows them to save their energy for when they go hunting at night. As they grow older, they will turn in sooner and spend the majority of their day taking a ‘cat nap.’

How to sleep fast

“How to go to sleep fast” takes the 16th spot. It’s clear that we’re in serious need of quick sleep fixes. While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all sleep solution (it could come down to your diet, stress or a sleep disorder) we have a few tips to get you to sleep in 5 minutes.

  • Focus on controlling your breathing and inhale and exhale slowly from 5 to 10 counts at a time.
  • Relax your muscles and ease tension with a magnesium-rich Epsom salt bath before bedtime.
  • Drink a hot cup of chamomile tea. The brew is infused with the antioxidant apigenin, which contributes to the relaxation you feel after drinking it.
  • Essential oils like lavender, bergamot, chamomile, and valerian are all commonly used in aromatherapy to aid sleep.
  • Massage the acupressure points on your body; these can be found on your inner thigh, behind your neck and on your temples. Use swift and circular motions to induce relaxation and sleep.

Find the full list of the top sleep-related queries below:

Rank Question Search Volume
1 How much sleep do I need? 7,800
2 Why can’t I sleep? 5,100
3 How to sleep? 4,900
4 How to sleep better? 4,500
5 What is sleep apnea? 3,100
6 What is REM sleep? 2,500
7 How long can you go without sleep? 2 400
8 How much deep sleep do you need? 2,200
9 What is sleep paralysis? 2,100
10 How long do cats sleep? 1,600
11 Why we sleep? 1,400
12 How long do dogs sleep? 1,200
13 When do babies sleep through the night? 1,100
14 How to sleep after gallbladder op? 1,100
15 Why do I sleep so much? 1,000
16 How to sleep fast? 900
17 How do horses sleep? 700
18 What helps you sleep? 600
19 How to sleep in hot weather? 500
20 What happens when you don’t sleep? 500

All search data refers to average monthly search volume according to Ahrefs keyword explorer and is correct as of 12/11/2020.