Australian Sleep Statistics

Updated

September 20, 2021

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Australia recently reported that sleep disorders have become widespread among the adult population. As scary as this thought is, the fact remains that this matter is becoming an epidemic.

Studies released on World Sleep Day indicate that 45% of Australian adults feel satisfied with their sleep, while 38% are dissatisfied. So why is Australia so sleepless? Let me explain the statistics.

Did You Know?
There are around 21 online, bed-in-a-box brands in Australia and close to 250 all over the world.
Source:
Sleepysexpress.com.au

Sleep Statistics of Australia

Many studies, surveys, and data analyses have determined how many people have difficulty sleeping and categorize them under demographics.

  • 40% of Australians are struggling to sleep for 7-9 hours.
  • 59.4% experience symptoms at least 3-4 times per week, including trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking too early and not being able to get back to sleep.
  • In children aged 12-15, 25% do not sleep for 8-10 hours on school nights, and children aged 16-17 it’s 50%.
  • Only 20% of Australians report sleeping uninterrupted.
  • A whopping 20% of Australians fell asleep behind the wheel, and 5% of these accidents occurred.
  • Sleepless Australians are almost 80% less productive.
  •  Heart disease and diabetes kill 40% of sleep-deprived Australians.
  • Australia spends $66.3 billion per year on health and overheads because of sleep distress.

What keeps the nation awake?

After going through the statistics, I’m sure we are all wondering what keeps ;most Aussies awake? There are multiple factors to it but let’s see what the data has to say

1.Lifestyle

  • The Sleep Health Foundation (SHF) said that the prime cause of not sleeping enough is work stress and various lifestyle choices among the younger group.
  • 48.8% complained that their hectic schedule is hampering their sleep. Furthermore, SHF mentioned how few people feel achievement with little rest and take pride in it.

2.Environment

  • The Institute for Social Research (ISSR) has discussed environmental and societal factors playing a role in an individual’s potential to get enough sleep.
  • The Public Health Association discussed how poor accommodation conditions, unemployment, noise, inadequacy in locality safety, financial crisis, etc., have become primary reasons for lack of sleep.
  • According to the SleepFit report, amongst 4000 participants, 37% mentioned the bedrooms being either too hot or cold, 20% interrupted by children, and 17.5% due to noise.  
  • 38% of adults with partners sleep separately to get better sleep.

3.Technology

  • 13.8% of adults get up 2-3 nights in a week to utilise technology, whereas 12.7% wake up once a week.
  • Above 28% of 12-13 years children and 27% of 14-15 years, teenagers do not follow the sleep guidelines due to access to the internet.

4.Other factors

  • The Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre (MSDC) stated behavioural industries see minimal sleep as a constructive characteristic.
  • 22% of people work before going to bed, out of which 69% suffer from sleep problems.
  • 40% of Australians drink alcohol during bedtime and could affect both health and sleep behaviour.

Results of lack of sleep

The numbers baffle everyone. With the above information, let’s see the repercussions of not sleeping enough.

1.Death

  • Deloitte evaluated that between 2016-17, 3,017 Australians passed away due to sleeplessness. Heart conditions caused 77% of these deaths.
  • Once a month, 29% of people drive in an exhausted state
  • More than 50% of exhaustion-related accidents occur within 25km of leaving point.

2.Health issues

  • The Australian Epidemiological Association (AEA) said poor sleeping habits increase 20-40% risk for long-term health conditions.
  • According to the Sleep Health Survey, 2016, 20% go through insomnia, 18% suffer Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)- urge to move legs while sleeping, and 8% from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)- a person breathing stops during sleep.
  • Sleep disorders can occur due to ill mental and physical health. Insomnia has increased to 30-80%.
  • At any given time, 1 in 10 Australians has at least mild insomnia. Women and the elderly are more likely to suffer from it.

3.Social and economic costs

  • In 2016-17, Deloitte reported that $66.3 billion was the expenditure for the outcome of having insufficient sleep. The cost took in $26.2 billion as financial expenditure and $40.1 billion in handling well-being.
  • Due to insufficient sleep, the financial cost incorporated productivity loss of $17.9 billion, $1.8 billion under healthcare costs, $0.6 billion for info, and $5.9 billion for other charges, including encumbrance cost.
  • The Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) figure lost because of poor sleep helped estimate the lost social welfare expenditure of $40.1 billion.

Take measures for improvement

It is a fact that sleep contributes 88% to our physical and 89% to mental health. Let us see how Australia is taking the initiative.

  • Philips Global Sleep Survey, 2018 reported 63% of Australians are taking measurements for better sleep. 33% watch TV while 31% reduce caffeine consumption.
  • 21% listen to calming music, around 18% set a schedule to wake up, and 18% take prescribed sleep drugs.

Sleep and Mattresses

  • Australian mattress market is poised to grow by a 3.5% CAGR by FY 2023
  • According to the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, a new mattress reduces back pain by 48% and improves sleep quality by 55%.
  • The popularity of online mattresses has been fuelled by the convenience of customers being able to review, order, buy, and/or replace a mattress at the touch of a button.
  • Increasing demand for temperature-controlled mattresses and self-cleaning mattresses is expected in the future.
  • In Australia, around 1.8 million mattresses go to landfills every year that can cause a burden on landfills and the environment.

Conclusion

Various studies have helped learn about Australian sleep statistics. In one of the studies, 42% of participants have suboptimal sleep. 

16% of participants reported getting their sleep assessed, while 10% accepted one component of sleep care, where 43% was pharmacotherapy. 

Several studies are currently being conducted and we will update the statistics as the results come in. Remember, if you love your health, you must love your sleep.