Do you lie awake at night worrying you’re not getting enough sleep? You’re not alone – some countries are in the middle of a sleeplessness epidemic which has the potential to damage people’s health and productivity.
The National Sleep Foundation, an American institute, says adults need seven to nine hours a night. Sleep less and you may harm yourself and others. A 20-hour stint of wakefulness has the same debilitating effect on reasoning and reaction times as drinking a bottle of wine. Two weeks of six-hour nights slows your brain as much as pulling two consecutive all-nighters; doing so consistently increases your chance of an early death by 13%. Unfortunately you may not notice: moderately sleep-deprived people often overestimate their meagre rest-time.
Among the most rested countries surveyed by Sleep Cycle, an app that tracks how much shuteye people are getting, New Zealand comes top with the average Kiwi clocking up in excess of 7.5 hours per night.
Finland, the Netherlands, Australia, the UK and Belgium all rank highly for sleep, too, with Ireland close behind.
But not all developed economies rest well; South Korea and Japan are the world’s worst countries when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. The problem of sleeplessness in Japan is well-documented, particularly in relation to the phenomenon of karoshi – death caused by lack of sleep.
Residents of most rich countries tend to be well-rested, suggesting that a good doze is something of a luxury. That link frays in Asia and the Middle East. In tiger economies like Taiwan and South Korea workers turn in at 1am on an average night. Many of those in Islamic ones have early morning prayers. Such fatigue can enfeeble an economy. Japan is the weariest nation of all: a 2016 study found that exhaustion cost it nearly 3% of its annual GDP, largely by lowering productivity.
Our disregard for sleep is relatively new. Before electric light became common, most people went to bed soon after the sun went down. No longer. In general, we get less sleep than they did a century ago; children the world over have lost more than an hour’s slumber. The best remedy is a simple one: turn out the light.
Source: WEforum.com | https://www.1843magazine.com