• 32 per cent of Brits expect to feel festive fatigue by Sunday 29th December
  • Two fifths (41 per cent) of people are set to attend at least 4 parties this Christmas
  • A quarter of people (24 per cent) are likely to get only three hours sleep or less before going to work after a festive night out this party season
  • Festive party goers across the country are set to spend an average of £126 each on alcoholic drinks by the beginning of January

Weeks of partying, big spending and lack of sleep look set to bring on festive fatigue across the UK by the end of Christmas week, which could leave some people longing for a quiet New Year’s Eve.

According to research by Cancer Research UK’s Dryathlon, almost a third (32 per cent) of the 4,000 Brits asked will feel ready to put away their dancing shoes by Sunday 29th December1, with two fifths (41 per cent) attending at least 4 parties this festive season2.

With a quarter of those surveyed (24 per cent) expecting to get three hours sleep or less3 after a night out this month before heading into to work the next day, it’s hardly a wonder Brits have hit the partying wall by the end of December.

The older generation are pacing themselves over the festive season, going to fewer nights out but keeping up the enthusiasm for the celebrations better than the youngsters. Twice as many 18-24 year olds (56 per cent) expect to be going to at least four festive parties5 this season, compared to the over 55s (28 per cent). This has lead more of the younger generation to think that they will have felt burnt out by the 29th December, with twice as many expecting the festive fatigue to have hit before the New Year compared to their older counterparts (44 per cent and 20 per cent respectively). In fact, almost half of over 55s don’t expect to get tired of their festive celebrations (47 per cent)4.

When it comes to splashing the cash, festive party goers across the country are set to spend an average of £126 each on alcoholic drinks by the beginning of January5. The most prolific socialisers are the under 34s, with the 25-34 year olds being the biggest spenders of all. They expect to fork out an average of £42 a night on alcoholic drinks, £6.50 a night above the national average, which adds up to around £200 over all their festive nights out.

Anthony Newman, director of marketing at Cancer Research UK, said: “The run up to Christmas is a busy time for parties and it looks like they’ll be taking their toll on the nation, with lots of people expecting to feel worn out by the celebrations before New Year’s Eve shindigs kick off.

“That’s why after the Christmas party season, we’re asking people to bin the booze throughout January by taking part in Cancer Research UK’s Dryathlon. It’s a great way to save a little cash and have a clear head in the New Year, while raising money to help beat cancer sooner.”

The results are released before Dryathlon kicks off for the second time in January 2014. The fundraising campaign encourages people to take a month off alcohol to raise money for Cancer Research UK, and raised over £4 million in its debut year.

Cancer Research UK’s Dryathlon will be running from 1 to 31 January 2014 and registrations are open now at dryathlon.org.


For media enquiries contact the press office on 020 3469 8315 or, out of hours, on 07050 264 059.


Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Cancer Research UK ‘Dryathlon’ in November 2013. The 4,000 survey respondents were UK adults aged 18+.

For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1861 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow Cancer Research UK on Twitter and Facebook.

1 32.41% of people said they expected to have experienced festive fatigue (wanting a break from partying or drinking alcohol) between the 2nd and 29th of December

2 Number of festive parties and gatherings people expected to attend between Mon 2nd December – Sun 5th January

3 24% of people said the least amount of sleep they expect to get after a festive night out before going to work was 0-3 hours.

4 47% of over 55s said they did not think they would experience festive fatigue (wanting a break from partying or drinking alcohol) over the festive party season (Mon 2nd December – Sun 5th January)

5 Based on the average spend per person per night of £35.66 spent on alcoholic drinks and the average number of festive nights out and gatherings being 3.52. This equates to £125.52 per person being spent on alcohol over their festive nights out between December 2nd and January 5th. Although the amount spent on alcohol is based only on those that drink alcohol, the number of festive nights out and gatherings is based on all respondents.


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