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Australia: The sleep-deprived nation

A global relaxation study has found that Australians are sleeping slightly better but are still a sleep-deprived nation.

Research conducted by Wakefield Research found that Australians’ sleep was slightly improving, with 59 per cent saying they struggled with sleep, down from 61 per cent last year.

Despite the minor improvement, Australians ranked as the third most sleep-deprived nation of the eight countries that were surveyed for the study.

Nearly all Australians (97 per cent) agreed relaxation time was essential for health and wellbeing but that did not translate into good sleeping habits.

Even on holidays, Australians can’t switch off, with 69 per cent struggling to get a good night’s sleep on holiday, an increase from last year’s 65 per cent.

Sleep expert Dr Michael Breus said the study highlighted the importance of maintaining good sleeping habits even when on holidays.

“With so many Australians struggling to sleep well while on holiday, the best way to ensure you get the rest you need, no matter where in the world you are, is to try to maintain a sleep schedule and behaviours similar to ones kept at home.”

Dr Breus suggested simple things like sticking to a normal bedtime, not drinking alcohol within three hours of bedtime and 15 minutes of morning sun every day were key tips to a restful sleep.

“Your internal body clock (the circadian rhythm) runs on a 24-hour schedule and functions best when you are exposed to a regular pattern of light and dark,” he said.

Good night’s sleeps are important for the body, said Dr Breus, and people just needed to remember to give their bodies what they needed to help achieve that.

“Working out while on holiday, keeping a consistent bedtime, and reducing alcohol intake before going to sleep will help you get a great night’s sleep,” he said.

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