Worryingly, around 20 per cent of Aussies surveyed as part of this report face this insomnia battle three times or more per week.
The census was commissioned by globally leading and trusted sleep specialists, Sealy, who have been handcrafting mattresses in Australia for over 60 years. Sealy is the only sleep brand in Australia to have a NATA Accredited Research and Development centre.
With a commitment to providing sleep support and comfort, Sealy surveyed over 11,000 respondents across five countries¹ to complete its report, including 2,300 respondents living in Australia. Respondents were questioned around general health, sleep habits, sleep quality, insomnia symptoms, lifestyle and bedroom environment.
Despite admitting they have serious sleep issues, the Australian respondents surprisingly rated themselves as the healthiest out of the five countries surveyed, suggesting that there’s ignorance to the long-term health implications caused by a lack of sleep.
Sealy Sleep Expert and Researcher at Central Queensland University, Professor Amy Reynolds explained that Aussies aren’t valuing the importance of good sleep habits when considering their overall health and wellbeing.
“It is easy to trade sleep for another activity without recognising the consequences, however, what people need to realise, is that quality sleep is equally as important as nutrition and exercise. A lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart issues and even increases the likelihood to catch a common cold,” said Amy.
A need for a technology detox
The Sealy Sleep Census findings also suggest a strong association between high levels of insomnia and the nation’s addiction to technology in the bedroom, including smartphones, tablets and televisions.
Around 70 per cent of Australians said that they keep their phone in close vicinity of their bed every day or most days. Shockingly, 64 per cent of these respondents believe it has some or a lot of negative impact on sleep, yet continue to keep the tech close by.
The survey also asked respondents if their partner took technology to bed. Out of everyone whose partner takes a phone to bed, 42 per cent have had problems getting to sleep once or twice a week in the past three months.
Professor Reynolds explains that technology is known to confuse the internal body clock, which is trained to keep us in rhythm with the general 24 hour day.
“The brain tells the body to slow down in the evening by increasing a hormone called melatonin, preparing the body for sleep. Technology can throw this off as the light sends the wrong cue to the brain. As a result, the melatonin slows and it becomes harder to sleep. This is known as hyperarousal, which is what many Aussies are experiencing,” said Amy.