The Truth About Sleep

What happens if we don’t get enough sleep and how do we get more? Insomniac Michael Mosley investigates.

Britain is one of the most sleep-deprived countries in the world.

In this film, medical journalist and chronic insomniac Michael Mosley Michael teams up with world-renowned experts, picks apart research and conducts pioneering tests on himself, to take us on a journey to find out just how much sleep we need, the consequences of not getting enough sleep, and investigates possible solutions to getting a better night’s kip.   

The amount of sleep we’ve been getting as a nation has fallen to around six and a half hours.  It seems that us Brits just aren’t getting enough.  

So how do we know?  Michael demonstrates a simple test you can try at home using just a spoon, a watch and a tray.  You lie down holding a metal spoon over a tray, and when you fall asleep the spoon clatters onto the tray, waking you up.  If you fall asleep after fifteen minutes you’re a normal sleeper.   Less than that - around ten minutes - then you’re sleep deprived.  Five minutes or less and you have severe sleep deprivation. 

Statistics show that about a third of Britain’s workforce are sleep deprived and it’s costing the UK up to £40bn a year in days off and lack of productivity.

Production Information

Broadcaster: BBC One

TX Date: May 2017

Format: 1 x 60

Executive Producer(s):

Emma Lorenz


Michael Mosley