23 Oct The effect of the ‘24/7 society’ on sleep is profound.
In today’s world we are always on! For example, New York ‘the city that never sleeps’. We have made technological advancements allowing us to stay connected with a virtual world available to our fingertips 24/7.
This is meant to bring flexibility and improvements to productivity. Why waste time waiting for a flight or in a taxi as the internet means we could organise our social life or teleconferencing can bring business people together in multiple time zones.
But what does that mean for sleep? On average we spend 8 out of 24 hours sleeping, around one third of a life in total. Have we placed sleep further down the priority list as the technology advances and the 24/7 society has come to expect more out of our work and social schedules.
As part of a Sleep Health Survey of Australian Adults in 2016 found, 26% of all adults both use the internet most or every night of the week just before bed and have frequent sleep difficulties or daytime impairments. Similarly, 16% of all working adults do work just before bed and also have frequent sleep difficulties or daytime sleep-related symptoms.
Nearly a quarter (23%) report their typical weekday routine of work or home duties does not allow them to get enough sleep.
Younger adults (18-34y) sleep around 1 hour longer before non-work days than working days, compared to 18 minutes in older age groups.
Remember to make sure you prioritise your sleep as an important factor of life. Daytime functioning relies on adequate sleep duration and quality. Sometimes the smallest lifestyle changes can be made to reverse sleep difficulties or daytime symptoms.
Report to the Sleep Health Foundation
2016 Sleep Health Survey of Australian Adults
Robert Adams, Sarah Appleton, Anne Taylor, Doug McEvoy, and Nick Antic.
The University of Adelaide
The Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health