According to research by Sleep Health Foundation, sleep disorders cost Australia a whopping $ 5.1 billion in health care and indirect costs. Moreover, the shrinking in quality of life caused by loss of sleep has an additional cost of $ 31 billion a year. The report further found that $ 270 million is spent every year to take care of sleeping disorders. Lack of sleep is alarmingly common amongst Australians, with four out of ten struggling with their rest. That alone should necessitate sleeping disorder to receive more focus as a health priority.
Comprehensive reports have revealed that sleep deprivation was associated with 3,017 deaths in 2016-2017, 394 of those occurred because an individual fell asleep on the wheel or from industrial accidents, due to sleep deprivation. Not getting sufficient sleep can mess anyone. But it has more devastating effects on the young, particularly mental health issues like anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and mood swings.
But Why Is Sleep Deprivation Endemic to Australia?
Personal choice. Some individuals don’t realize how important sleep is. Instead, they stay up all night socializing, watching TV or reading a lovely book. Reports indicate that over 44 % of adult Australians surf the internet just before bed about every night while another significant percentage are late-night workers or movie watchers.
Work. People who do shift work disrupt the sleep-wake cycles regularly. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2009, there were 8.6 million employees aged over 15 years. Of these, 1.4 million often worked in shifts, making up 16% of employees.
Sleep disorder. Conditions such as sleep apnea can cause a lack of night sleep. According to 2016 Sleep Health Survey of Australian Adults, Executive Summary Medical sleep conditions are also prevalent, with diagnosed sleep apnea affecting 8%, significant insomnia 20% and restless legs 18% of adults.
The Value of Healthy Sleep
Adequate rest is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit you, including your heart, weight, and mind. Sleep makes you feel good, but its significance goes beyond raising your mood and getting rid of eye circles.
Good sleep Improves concentration and productivity. Proper rest is good for brain function and can enhance problem-solving skills. Poor sleep, on the other hand, has been shown to limit brain function. Additionally, good rest has been shown to boost problem-solving skills and improve memory performance for children and adults.
Good sleep stimulates emotions and social interactions. Poor sleep reduces your ability to interact socially. Studies show that people with sleeping problems cannot recognize people’s emotional expressions—poor sleep reduces one’s ability to identify expressions of happiness and anger.
Poor sleep is linked to increased risk of stroke and heart disease. Sleeping less than the average 7-8 hours per night increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Australia, It’s Time to Go to Bed
Sleep requirements vary from one person to the next depending on the general health, physical activity, and other factors
Primary School Children. Children need between 9-10 hours of sleep. According to studies, increasing your child sleeping time by half an hour can boost school performance
Teenagers. Need about 9-10 hours of sleep. Teenagers need to sleep enough. Unfortunately, at this stage, peer pressure is taking its toll and reducing sleep time.
Adults. Should sleep for about 8 hours, depending on personal factors. As we age, we tend to need less sleep. If you feel tired any time of the day, try to catch some shut-eye.
You cannot achieve optimal health by ignoring your sleepy needs. Sound sleep Coupled with a better diet, is one of the fundamental pillars of health.
- Don’t drink alcohol, or caffeinated drinks a few hours before bedtime
- Seek medical care for sleep disorders such as snoring
- Go to bed earlier, intentionally, every night
- Improve your sleeping environment. Don’t have distractions in the bedroom such as a computer or TV. Turn off the lights, wear earplugs if you have noisy neighbors, keep it soundproof and dark. And sleep on Sydney’s best value mattress — the mattress that breathes.
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