Cover Photo: Hernan Sanchez

How are we sleeping one year into the global pandemic? That's what Philips set to find out this year for its Global Sleep Survey, conducted by KJT Group online with 13,000 individuals in 13 countries and released ahead of World Sleep Day. And their results suggest that many people are finding that a good night's rest is more elusive than in the past.

Bedtime stress

It seems that we can't talk about sleep issues without talking about stress. With nearly half of those surveyed (48 per cent) indicating that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on their stress levels, it's not hard to connect the dots when the report indicates that stress is the number one barrier to good sleep. So what kinds of worries are keeping us awake? Well in addition to the pandemic, finances and work are high on the list.

Overall, just over half of the respondents (55 per cent) indicated that they were satisfied with their sleep, with significant differences observed between countries. India reported a greater number of people satisfied with their sleep at 67 per cent, followed by 57 per cent in China. However, only 29 per cent of respondents in Japan reported sleep satisfaction and just 35 per cent in France, while 40% claimed satisfaction in the US and the UK, 41 per cent in South Korea, 45 per cent in Italy and Australia, 46 per cent in Brazil, 47 per cent in Germany, 49 v in Singapore and 55 per cent in the Netherlands.

This year the average sleep duration for a weeknight came in at 6.9 hours for a weeknight and 7.7 hours for a weekend night. Adults are recommended to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.

Sleep and the gender gap

Just 32 per cent of us feel well-rested most mornings, and a whopping 70 per cent of respondents acknowledged experiencing at least one "new sleep challenge" since the start of the pandemic. And as with many other knock-on effects of the pandemic, women seem to be hit harder than men, with 41 per cent indicating it has "negatively impacted their ability to sleep well" compared to 33 per cent of men, and 36 per cent of women "currently suffering from insomnia" compared to 28 per cent of men.

And while more people are scrolling on their cell phone in bed this year (84 per cent) compared to last year (74 per cent), with 73 per cent looking at social media, this pandemic year has also been a time for many to boost their awareness about getting help for sleep, with the Philips survey finding many seeking information online about sleep and sleep treatments for the first time. Popular lifestyle strategies to help our sleep routine include listening to soothing music, meditation and reading, with women more inclined to test out a variety of new approaches.

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