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Sex and the sicky

Sex and the sicky

A survey reveals the secrets of why people are so desperate for extra time in bed during the working week.

The Sleep Council survey for National Sleep-In Day (October 31, the day the clocks go back) found; six out of ten respondents plan to spend the extra hour on Sunday enjoying a lie-in, more than one in three people admitted to ‘throwing a sicky' – often to spend extra time in bed, given a lazy day in bed men would spend it having sex while women would prefer to just read and nearly half those questioned would actually pay to spend a lazy day in bed.

“It's clear from this survey that a lot of people want to spend a lot more time in their beds,” said Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council. In fact, some will go to almost any lengths to do so. 45 percent of working people polled said they'd be prepared to pay (anything up to and over £100) for a lazy day between the bedsheets.

And a whopping 36 percent admitted they'd ‘thrown a sicky' – often to spend extra time in bed. Those in the 16 – 24 age group were the number one offenders with nearly six out of 10 admitting they'd taken time off, sick when they were really well enough to go in to work. People aged 55 and over are the least likely to do that with nearly four out of five saying they had not blagged any time off ill.

Regionally, Londoners were the most likely to phone in and fib, with half of those questioned admitting to taking anything up to 14 days off supposedly sick. Of all those polled, nearly a quarter (24 percent) said they'd feigned feeling unwell to have a lie-in – and didn't feel guilty. And men (34 percent) were much more likely than women (19 percent) to say this.

No surprise then, that when asked what they would like to do with the extra hour this year, six out of 10 respondents said they'd use it to have a lie in. That's even more than when The Sleep Council first asked the same question 15 years ago in 1995 – and the reason the annual autumn return to Greenwich Mean Time has been celebrated as National Sleep-In Day ever since.  Back then 51 percent of people said they'd spend the extra hour in bed. Women are even keener than men to spend their bonus hour in bed this Sunday (64 percent v 53 percent).

Asked how they'd choose to spend a lazy day in bed, 44 percent of men put sex first while women put reading, sleeping, watching TV or a movie and eating treats well ahead of a romp under the bedclothes. Less than a quarter (24 percent) said sex would be top of their list of things to do – indeed it only just beat surfing the net as a preferred activity (23 percent).

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