Almost 45% of Australian adults aren’t getting enough sleep. Are you one of them?
The last set of statistics released by the Australian Sleep Health Foundation found nearly half the Australian population is not getting the recommended duration or quality of sleep required.
Getting the right amount of sleep is good for both mental and physical health, the foundation says.
The research carried out by the Sleep Health Foundation revealed 20% have difficulty falling asleep, 35% wake up feeling not fresh, 19% stated that sleepiness interferes with daily activities, and another 19% said they experience irritability and moods.
Not having enough sleep is a leading factor to multiple chronic diseases.
General Practitioner Anil Kaippilly says having a proper sleeping routine is more important than what some think.
“Poor sleep is associated with increase risk of heart disease and stroke. Good sleep increases life expectancy and quality of life,” he says.
Other possible conditions associated with poor sleep include diabetes, depression and obesity.
According to the Health Finder, most adults need seven to eight hours of good quality sleep on a regular schedule each night.
Teens are considered to need eight to ten hours of sleep, while younger school-aged children require nine to twelve.
However, just getting the hours of sleep isn’t the only thing that matters, according to Dr Kaippilly. He says sleep quality and quantity matter, but both seem to be decreasing.
“Getting enough sleep isn’t only about the total hours of sleep. It’s also important to get good quality sleep on a regular schedule so you feel rested when you wake up,” he says.
Sleep is considered important as it allows the body to start healing its damaged cells, boosting our immune systems, helping it recover from the day’s activities. It helps recharge our hearts and cardiovascular systems for the next day.
According to President of the Sleep Health Foundation Professor David Hillman, not having enough sleep can cause serious damage.
“In Australia, at least 9% of serious road crashes are due to fatigue, this equals to 25,920 injuries per annum,” he says on the Sleep Health Foundation website.
This statistic has also been confirmed by TAC statistics showing, in Victoria alone, fatigue was the cause of some 50 deaths and about 300 serous injuries each year.
Some of the ways individuals are reducing their amount of sleep without knowing can include too much caffeine intake, internet surfing, having naps prior to getting into bed and constantly hitting the snooze button because they’ve purposely put on three or more unnecessary alarms.
According to a statistic by the Sleep Health Foundation, roughly 44% of adults (47% women and 40% men) use the internet just before bed almost every night. Out of that percentage, 59% have two or more sleep problems.
Some of us have personally experienced times when we haven’t had sufficient sleep, such as pulling all-nighters trying to meet deadlines, taking care of kids, doing shift work or driving for long periods of time.
Having the right quantity and quality of sleep may not be a big deal at the moment, but it won’t be long before the clock really catches up.