Getting a bad night’s sleep sucks! Whether its noisy neighbours, or a mosquito that won’t stop flying around your head – there are often many external factors that can impact your sleep quality.
Inadequate sleep costs Australia billions of dollars annually. It is estimated that the financial cost of an inadequate night’s sleep annually in Australia is $26.2 billion, and the heath and wellbeing costs are $66.3 billion.
There are many influences, often out of our control, that may affect our sleep. According to the “Bedtime Reading” report, it is estimated that 39.8% of Australians experience an inadequate sleep. The common causes of an inadequate sleep are often due to either lifestyle or environmental factors.
We have included some examples below from the Bedtime Reading Report:
Often, people may restrict sleep to allow time for other lifestyle activities such as work, family, social or leisure events.
We are seeing more and more people beginning to prioritise constant digital stimulation and electronic entertainment over a good quality sleep. There is a perception that the payoff for staying up late, outweighs the benefits of a good night’s sleep, but this is simply untrue!!
Text messages, phone calls and social media notifications from friends and family late at night can also affect sleep. Often the light and vibration from your phone will wake you up and can disrupt your sleep patterns.
Some organisations also continue to encourage a lack of sleep and promote a late-night working culture. Due to advances in technology, we can stay connected across the globe 24/7. Online work meetings can connect people in two different time zones. This often means mean that one employee will have to sacrifice sleep to meet within the other persons working hours.
The environment you are sleeping in also impacts sleep. Some examples include:
- Bedroom temperature is too hot or cold (Check out our blog on staying warm in winter)
- Interruptions by children
- External Noise such as Road Works or Transport
- Psychological stressors e.g. financial
- Exposure to artificial blue light such as Laptops and Televisions
- Exposure to cool white light such as outdoor street lighting
- Policy factors such as start and finish times of work and school
It is good to be educated on the above factors that may cause a bad night’s sleep so that you can prepare to minimise their impact. An example would be to switch off your mobile phone while sleeping. Inadequate sleep can cause some serious consequences. It has health impacts, Social and Economic Costs, Increase risk of accidents and impacts judgement and mental functioning.