Worldwide Sleep Survey Uncovers 5 Compelling Facts About Sleeping
Sleep: we all do it, but many of us don’t get nearly as much of it as we should.
One recent sleep study has been able to point out some interesting facts about snoozing and how important it is to our health. Published in Science Advances, this study made use of an app called ENTRAIN, and collected data from multiple countries from around the world.
The study was conducted in a worldwide effort to help people get more (and better) sleep, and one of the major findings that was discovered is the fact that it’s our bedtime, not the time that we wake up, that affects how long we actually remain asleep.
It was also found that different countries have pretty different sleep averages, with the UK and the Netherlands reporting an average of just under of 8 hours per night of sleep, while Japan and Singapore were shown to have an average sleep time of only 7 hours per night.
Many researchers and sleep experts that took part in this major study expressed some serious concerns about the lack of sleep reported in most of the participating countries – they’ve even gone so far as to be quoted as stating that most of the world is in the midst of a “sleep crisis,” with many adults sacrificing sleep for work or pleasure, in order to squeeze in all that they feel they need to get done in a day.
There were some very interesting facts about sleep discovered during the survey…
1. Social Pressures Keep Us Awake
Feeling as if we have an obligation to socialize is robbing us of sleep. Whether it’s staying out late to meet friends for a drink or scrolling through Facebook when we should be sleeping, our social lives are definitely having a negative impact on our health by weakening our bodies attempts to get us to sleep.
2. Bedtime Affects Sleep Duration
Scientists that participated in this global sleep survey also found that it’s the average bedtime of a country that predicts how much sleep people are getting, not the time that they wake up. This means that developing a bedtime routine and a sleep schedule is critical to getting the sleep that we need.
3. Women Sleep More Than Men
It was also discovered that women tend to schedule more sleep into their day than their male counterparts, getting around 30 minutes more sleep per night than men, especially those in the age range of 50 to 60 years old. Maybe that’s due to the fact that they appreciate the importance of getting some beauty rest?
4. Those That Work Outdoors Get More Sleep
It was found that people that are exposed to more natural light through working outdoors get to bed earlier and stay asleep longer than those that work in an office or another area with artificial lighting.
5. Age Plays a Role in Sleep Duration
There was a strong link found in the study between age and sleep duration, as well. People that are under the age of 30 were shown to have a wide range of sleep and wake times, but it was found that as they aged, those same people were much more likely to get less sleep and wake up earlier.
What can we take away from this broad-spectrum and thorough sleep study?
- Schedule a set time for getting to bed, and stick with it
- Avoid social pressure to stay awake longer and miss out on sleep
- Get more exposure to natural light to help regulate sleep patterns
Taking the time to ensure that we are getting the most high-quality sleep that we can pays off big-time in the long-run, no matter where we happen to be in the world!