The last two blogs we compared the sleep patterns of those living in the UK, Germany, Japan, America, Canada and Mexico thanks to groundbreaking research titled ‘the National Sleep Foundation 2013 International Poll’. This time we look at the amount of sleep these nations are getting and find some fascinating differences.
Sleep deprivation is a term bandied about by many. It has been thought that people are experiencing more and more symptoms of poor health due to lack of sleep. Now we have the figures to back this up. It is true - the world is not sleeping enough!! Well, at least that's what the research shows. Three-quarters of those interviewed believe they are not getting enough sleep and they seem to be right.
It is well documented that the average Joe (or average Jose) needs 7.5 - 9 hours sleep per night to function well the next day. Get less than this and you are likely to land up depressed, fat and struggling to perform at work and at home. Your memory takes a knock and so does your problem-solving. The scary thing is, that according to this poll, none of the countries average 7.5 hours or more sleep per night on workdays. On non-work days those in Canada, Mexico and Germany manage to sleep in and reach the 7.5 hours or more. This means that most accrue a sleep debt during the week but despite sleeping in do not manage to erase this sleep debt over the weekend.
The other common strategy used to fight sleep deprivation appears to be taking a nap regularly. One third of those interviewed nap regularly with 51% of those in America and Japan napping at least four times in the passed two weeks. This nap would need to be at least 45 minutes long to help these folk reach their 7.5 hour target.
The reason for not getting enough sleep is puzzling. Those interviewed did not attribute going to sleep late to work or social pressure. They stated that their current work schedule/routine allowed for enough sleep. So what is keeping everyone up?
What do you think could be the cause? We'll explore this more in the next two posts!