Australia is in the grip of a sleep deprivation epidemic that is dragging down the nation’s productivity, risking safety and damaging mental health, a national sleep study reveals.
Research by the Sleep Health Foundation has found 33 to 45 per cent of adults sleep either poorly or not long enough most nights, leaving them to face the new day with fatigue, irritability and other side effects of sleep deprivation.
The work, published in the international Sleep Health Journal, also shows alarmingly high rates of internet use just before bed, particularly among women, and carries admissions from one in five people that they’ve nodded off while driving.
“These worrying results just go to show that sleep is not the national health priority it needs to be,” says Dr David Hillman, a Director of the foundation, the leading national advocate for sleep health. “Just like obesity, smoking, drinking too much and not exercising enough, sleep problems cause real harm in our community. It’s high time we moved this issue off the backburner to the forefront of national thinking.”