Australian Sleep Statistics

Updated

June 5, 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.

Sleep Statistics of Australia

Many studies, surveys, and data analyses determined how many face difficulty sleeping and categorise them under demographics.

  • 40% of Australians are struggling to sleep for 7-9 hours.
  • Around 60% of people reported having at the minimum one sleep symptom, which occurs more than thrice per week.
  • 59.4% of study respondents reported experiencing symptoms at least 3-4 times per week which involved waking up very early and not being capable of falling back to sleep, difficulty in sleeping or remaining asleep
  • Amongst the respondents, 14.8% had acute symptoms, resulting in clinical insomnia.  
  • Symptoms-related experiences differed for various ages. 47% of older people could avoid waking up at odd hours, whereas 32% of younger people faced difficulties sleeping.
  • In terms of gender, female respondents reported how often they worry about not having a good sleep which is 31%, and in males, 21%. Also, burying into thoughts while trying to get some sleep, females reported 35% and males 25%.
  • 50.4% of respondents reported having acute sleep symptoms, which went on for three months.
  • 25% of children under 12-15 years don’t sleep for 8-10 hours during weekdays, while 50% amongst 16-17 year-olds.
  • Less than 20% of Australians reported sleeping uninterrupted.
  • At least 20% of Australians fell asleep while driving, and out of that, 5% met with accidents.
  • Nearly 80% of Australians are unproductive after sleeplessness.
  • Death due to heart diseases or diabetes is because 40% of Australians are sleep-deprived.
  • 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. The SHF also mentioned how few people feel attainment with minimal rest and wear it as a badge of pride.

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 hold or cold, 20% interrupted by children, and 17.5% due to external 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 behavior.


Results of lack of sleep

I believe everyone is baffled by the numbers. With the above information, let’s see the repercussion 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 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%.


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 $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.


Conclusion

Various studies have helped learn about Australian sleep statistics. In one of the studies, 42% of participants have suboptimal sleep. Whereas 20%-23% widespread via sleep period. 16% of participants reported getting their sleep assessed, while 10% accepted one component of sleep care, where 43% was pharmacotherapy. There are still many studies conducting data to update the statistics for improvement and results. Remember, if you love your health, you need to love your sleep.