ResMed announced the results of its 2022 Global Sleep Surveys, in conjunction with National Sleep Awareness Week (March 13-19) and World Sleep Day (March 18). The surveys, conducted in the first quarter of the year,1 asked nearly 25,000 respondents in 12 countries what’s keeping them up at night and the results aim to build awareness of the critical role good sleep plays in physical and mental health.
Across most countries, a majority of respondents reported stress has had an impact on their sleep since the start of the pandemic, with a high of 64% in Brazil and a low of 35% in Germany and Japan. In the United States, 38% of respondents cited depression and anxiety as the reasons they do not sleep well at night. Beyond stress, depression, and anxiety, respondents listed family pressures, work-related concerns, and financial pressures as reasons for not sleeping well.
The survey also revealed how returning to the office has impacted the way people believe their sleep quality will change. Many respondents said they have slept better or longer while working remotely and believe more in-office working time will make it difficult to wake up in the morning:
- 45% of Americans who reported working from home said they get more sleep compared to working in an office, and 48% of those who said they currently work remotely said it will be harder for them to wake up once they return to a physical workplace.
- Germany (66%), India (65%), China (61%), and Australia (60%) ranked highest in respondents who reported working from home and predicted it will be harder for them to get up in the morning once they transition back to working in an office.
“Getting good quality sleep is a struggle for people across the globe for many different reasons,” said Carlos M. Nunez, M.D., chief medical officer for ResMed. “It is clear that the pandemic has caused an increase in poor quality sleep due to stress, depression, and anxiety, but our survey found that in most countries, nearly half of respondents say they’ve never sought professional medical help to improve their sleep or address underlying issues.”
Sleep Aids and Medications
While sleep health is an important issue, many survey respondents said they’re not consulting with their doctor on solutions to get a better night’s sleep, but rather turning to potentially unhealthy habits such as:
- Binge-watching television shows to help them fall asleep (23% of Americans, 20% of Germans and British respondents); or
- Traditional medications or alternative sleep aids such as aromatherapy or tea (29% of Americans).
More than half of Americans say their doctor has never proactively asked them about the quality of their sleep – and that number is even higher across the globe.
Snoring and Sleep Conditions
While everyone experiences a lousy night of sleep occasionally, those who experience ongoing sleep issues could be dealing with a more significant underlying health condition. Approximately 52% of Americans reported snoring or being told they snore, but only 33% are concerned about health implications tied to snoring. People may think they are sleeping soundly when in fact, they are repeatedly and unconsciously waking up throughout the night due to undiagnosed sleep apnea – of which snoring is the number one symptom.
“Sleep quality can be impacted by lifestyle changes and poor habits, but many people are struggling with undiagnosed conditions that may be the root cause,” said Carlos M. Nunez, M.D. “Sleep apnea is a serious health concern, but very few people are screened for the condition which impacts more than 54 million people in the U.S.”2
In America, only 22% of respondents said they have been tested for sleep apnea. That percentage is even lower in other countries: 17% testing in France, 15% in Germany, 13% in the United Kingdom, and 12% in Singapore.
To learn more about the state of sleep health across the globe and sleep apnea, or to take a quick self-assessment for your risk of sleep apnea, visit SleepForBetterTomorrow.com.