Addressing Inadequate Sleep in the Australian Community


This pre-budget submission requests funding to address a growing national problem with important health, well-being and economic consequences: inadequate sleep.

Sleep is a fundamental biological need which is essential for recuperation, memory consolidation, performance, learning and emotional well-being. Recent surveys demonstrate that four out of 10 Australian adults report insufficient sleep on a daily or several-days-a-week basis. Inadequate sleep can result from poor sleep habits through choice or pressure from work, family or other demands, or from clinical sleep disorders. Overall these clinical sleep disorders account for approximately half of the inadequate sleep problem, with obstructive sleep apnoea and insomnia major contributors. Inadequate sleep, in all its forms, has detrimental impacts on physical and mental health, daytime alertness, mood, work performance and accident risk. In children poor sleep adversely affects behaviour and learning.