Sleeping Soundly

Do you feel like you don’t get enough sleep? You’re not alone. According to the first annual Australian Sleep Report, 58% of Aussies believe they are not getting as much sleep as they would like.

Funny, I thought I was getting enough sleep (even though my eyes often told a different story). Then I got a Fitbit Blaze. One of the features of the blaze is its ability to track your sleeping patterns. And when it showed me how many times per night I was restless, the red-eye look started to add up.

Until I saw that stats in plain day, I thought my tiredness was a result of too much to do, yet not enough time – sleep was the sacrificial lamb. Not the case, if I had a sound sleep for the hours I was prone, I should be bursting with energy. But I’m not unique. Poor sleep is, well, keeping us up at night!

A survey of 1,000 Australians commissioned by Koala Mattress, and conducted independently by PureProfile, is pulling the blankets back on our nation’s sleeping habits revealing more than half of us wake up feeling only somewhat rested.

More than 60% of Australians surveyed said they slept between 6-7 hours every night, with 42% describing their sleep as “neither good nor poor”.

It’s perhaps no surprise then to find that a mere 4.2% of Aussies would describe their sleep as “very good”. So what is responsible for our depleted bank of restful hours?

Key findings of the report include:

  • 63% sleep 6-7 hours every night
  • 42% described their sleep as neither good nor poor
  • 58% said they felt somewhat rested in the morning
  • 47% said they didn’t have a specific routine before going to bed
  • Noise pollution, light pollution, bed comfort, work related stress and partner sleep habits were the reasons cited behind not getting a good night’s sleep

The bedroom might be the only place where gender doesn’t represent a sharp divide, with men and women reporting similar sleep duration and quality. 51% of males said they had a neither good nor poor sleep compared to the 48% of females. However, 54% of females said they had a good night’s sleep compared to 45% of males.

Interestingly, Aussie males are waking up more rested than females. 55% of females said they woke up feeling unrested while only 44% males said they felt way. 51% of females said they felt somewhat rested compared to 48% of males.

Tips for a better night’s rest

  1. Develop a sleep routine by going to bed at the same time each night
  2. Use the hour before bed to unwind and relax. Try taking a warm bath, listening to quiet music or reading
  3. Remove distracting items in the bedroom such as television, computer and phone
  4. Create a relaxing bedroom environment and ensure the mattress, pillow and blankets are comfortable
  5. Keep your bedroom for sleeping and intimacy only
  6. Get sunlight and exercise during the day to help you sleep better at night
  7. Avoid caffeine at least four hours before going to bed
  8. You cannot force sleep. If you are not asleep after 20 minutes in bed, go to another room until you feel tired again

The bedroom might be the only place where gender doesn’t represent a sharp divide, with men and women reporting similar sleep duration and quality.

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