The Bed Shop, South Africa’s largest independent franchise bed retailer, conducted a sleep survey to better understand the sleeping habits of South Africans. The survey, which ran from November 2017 until the end of January 2018, surveyed 1690 people across South Africa.
The findings deliver insight into the quality of sleep that South Africans are getting. The survey showed that 80% of the participants felt ‘tired and unrested in the morning’ and nearly 40% said that their ‘poor sleep troubled them in general’. These findings echo recent studies that have found a rising problem in sleep quality. The bottom line is that many South Africans are feeling sleep deprived.
According to the National Sleep Foundation in America, around 47 million adults don’t receive restorative sleep at night. Restorative sleep or non-REM sleep is the third stage of the sleep cycle and responsible for memory consolidation and information processing. What happens, in layman terms, is that our bodies basically go into shutdown mode during this cycle; our brain waves slow down, breathing and heart rate also decreases, and muscles relax. It is believed that the body uses this period of down time to reset itself and it’s responsible for making us feel rested and awake when our alarm goes off in the morning.
Sleep deprivation has also been linked to many illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity and heart disease. A lack of quality sleep impacts the overall quality of our life, both in the long and short term, by affecting our health. It also results in a decrease in productivity, which ultimately impacts on the economy.
Other key findings show that: 40% of respondents noted that they struggled with sleep seven days a week, while 30% noted there was a moderate chance of ‘falling asleep during the daytime without intending to or that they would struggle to stay awake while they were doing things’.