A recent report revealed that worry about work, finances and the economy was the leading factor impacting sleep.
While sleep is recognised as important to health and well-being, most people are not taking any steps to improve it, said Dutch healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting conglomerate Philips in its “Sleep: A Global Perspective” report, which is the first in a series of reports highlighting sleep trends and habits collected from a survey of nearly 8,000 people across 10 countries.
“Over the past few years, many surveys have focused on the negative impact that technology and mobile devices can have on sleep, but our report confirmed that the global factors impacting people’s sleep are much more varied and complex,” said Dr Teofilo Lee-Chiong, MD, chief medical liaison, Philips.
“And, while it’s refreshing to see people around the world equally valuing sleep as critical to their overall health, there’s clearly more that people can be doing to ensure they’re on a path to a better night’s sleep.”
Of the 7,817 people surveyed in the United States, Brazil, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany, China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, 96 percent said sleep is valuable to them. At the same time, 57 percent of respondents admitted that while their sleep could be better, they haven’t taken action to improve it. And, only 17 percent consistently sleep through the night, with 22 percent of respondents noting they wake up before they would like five to seven nights a week.
In addition, six percent of respondents reported having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is consistent with other reports indicating that more than 100 million people globally suffer from this disorder. Because an estimated 80 percent of patients with OSA remain undiagnosed, a substantial number of people may benefit from proper screening, diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.
The economy’s impact on sleep
Among a list of 12 different factors influencing overall health and well-being – including family, work, school, social life and intimacy with a partner – sleep ranked the highest, at 87 percent. But right behind it at 84 percent was money/financial security. Additionally, among a list of 13 factors keeping people up at night, respondents selected work (25 percent) and financial/economic issues (28 percent) as their most common sleep disruptors. While 67 percent of people around the world sleep with a mobile phone within reach, only 21 percent said technology was a sleep disruptor.
“Our report indicates how psychological factors can impact sleep, and how those factors can change depending on the times in which we live,” said Dr Mark Aloia, senior director of Global Clinical Research, Philips.
“Combating stress is critical to a good night’s sleep, but the toughest part for people is often just getting motivated to make changes. These data further demonstrate that sleep needs to be viewed and treated holistically, with both technology and lifestyle solutions that work together to promote better health.”
Of the countries most worried about work, South Korea (43 percent), Brazil (33 percent) and China (32 percent) ranked the highest. Of those most worried about economic/financial issues, Brazil (39 percent), Germany (31 percent) and the US (31 percent) topped the list.