Lack of Sleep Makes Six out of Ten Kiwis Miserable - New Research
12 January 2015, 3:16PM
Not getting forty winks is making us unhappy, with the majority of New Zealanders saying they feel sad or depressed as a result of missing out on sleep.
A new survey, commissioned by local sleep support company Tru2U, found women are affected the most, with 65% saying they struggle to feel happy after a disappointing snooze, compared to just over half (54%) of men.
The research found most Kiwis are not getting enough shuteye to operate at their peak physical or mental capacity, with 58% believing they don’t get enough sleep or feel well rested.
It also revealed more than half of us (56%) struggle to get to sleep at night or have a family member who is left counting sheep every evening - but the dangers of not getting enough sleep are much more than just feeling down the next day.
Generation Y are more likely to struggle with sleep than any other age group, with 73% of those aged 18-24 years old saying they don’t feel well rested, and more than two-thirds (78%) feeling sad or depressed because they haven’t had enough kip.
Along with low moods, scientists have also linked a lack of quality sleep with numerous health issues, including a higher likelihood of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Recent research has even suggested a link between less sleep and conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.
According to the survey, nearly three-quarters of Kiwis (72%) get between five and seven hours of sleep every night, with just 24% saying they get eight hours or more - despite experts recommending eight hours for most adults in order to feel rested and refreshed in the morning.
“Many scientific studies have shown that a lack of quality sleep can cause mood swings, and particularly make people feel irritable, vulnerable to stress, and more susceptible to negative thinking,” says Tru2u’s Simon Musgrave (MAppSc).
“This research shows that for New Zealanders, this is definitely true - and even more so for Kiwi women, who are struggling to maintain a positive mood and feeling really low if they don’t get a good night’s sleep.”
Musgrave says while seven hours may possibly be enough for some people, getting less than eight hours sleep is generally “selling yourself short. Most people need eight hours or more in order to feel their best, perform at their best, and be at their healthiest. Kiwis are active and leading busy lives, which means we need to give our bodies the chance to relax, recover and heal overnight,” he explains.
Kiwis need to make quality sleep a priority, much the same as including exercise and healthy eating, in order to feel both happy and healthy, Musgrave says. “An unbroken and deep sleep helps maintain our hormonal balance, manage our weight, and enhance our memory.
“People who start to sleep regularly and in a healthy routine will feel the benefits in many areas of their life very quickly,” he adds, recommending that New Zealanders establish a regular bedtime and wake-up time that allows for at the very least seven hours sleep each night, and look for natural ways to aid them if they have difficulty getting a quality sleep.
For more information on improving your sleep, see www.tru2u.co.nz.