The Times Australia

Small Business Marketing
The Times

Magazine

Australians are NOT getting enough sleep


With lighter Spring days and Daylight Savings quickly approaching, Aussies are about to face an additional disruption to their sleep routines. Losing an hour of sleep and adjusting to later daylight hours can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms, meaning that we can become drowsier throughout the day, less alert, and more susceptible to lower moods. And sadly, many Australians already have seemingly inadequate sleep routines.

New consumer research conducted by Emma - Australia’s most awarded mattress brand - took a deep dive into Australia’s sleeping routines, revealing that one in two Aussies are falling short of the recommended hours of sleep, which is leading to an overwhelming majority (69%) being sadly unable to wake up feeling energised and ready for the day.1

As the leader in sleep science, Emma spoke to over 1,000 Australian adults across various industries and vocations, to gain an insight into their sleep patterns and behaviours and how this is impacting their ability to wake up refreshed each day to perform at their best. Informed by the Emma Lab team of experts, the research uncovered which Aussies are most at risk of struggling through the change in seasons, and what they can be doing to set themselves up for success each day heading into the warmer months.

Key findings from the Emma Research include:[1]

Of all Australians, those with the worst sleep routines include full-time parents/carers with more than one-third (36%) sleeping less than 6 hours concerningly. This is closely followed by transportation workers (30%), teachers (25%) and retail employees (25%).

Women are getting less sleep across the board than men, with a quarter (25%) getting less than 6 hours sleep per night, whereas one in two of their male counterparts (50%) are sleeping more than 7 hours.

Despite the fact that most office / professional workers have moved to a hybrid working environment, and are getting quality sleep each night, 71% are still not waking up feeling revitalised for the day, admitting to hitting the snooze button constantly!

Theresa Schnorbach, Lead Consultant on the Emma Lab Research Team, says “This new research illuminates the serious sleep deficit many Australians are facing, that will continue to worsen, if intervention and habit changing doesn’t occur. It was sad to see that full-time carers, transportation professionals, and teachers were among some of the Australians getting the worst amounts of sleep, as these professionals have not been afforded the same flexibility as many others in different vocations. While many of us have benefited from work-from-home days and hybrid lifestyles, it is these professionals who are required to be physically present at their jobs, that are suffering the most – which can put them and others at significant risk.”

Diving deeper into the intriguing sleep landscape of Australia, state-based nuances emerge to paint a vivid picture of sleep habits across the nation. ACT residents unfortunately are getting the least amount of sleep amongst all states, with a third (33%) getting less than 6 hours sleep, followed by South Australians (27%).1 Queensland takes the lead as the state with the earliest bedtime tendencies, with an impressive 64% of residents retiring before 10pm.1

When it comes to establishing a better sleep pattern ahead of the warmer months and preparing for Daylight Savings, Theresa shares her five essential tips:

Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Our bodies thrive on routine, and a consistent sleep schedule can regulate your internal clock. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This practice helps synchronise your body's natural sleep-wake cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed. With Daylight Savings approaching, start going to bed maybe 30 minutes – 1 hour ahead of your usual time so that your body isn’t shocked and thrown off by the sudden change in pattern.

Invest in a Quality Mattress: A restful sleep starts with a comfortable and supportive mattress, as a quality mattress that suits your sleeping style can make a significant difference in your sleep quality. Try the Emma Comfort or Emma Diamond mattresses, which are extensively researched at the Emma Lab to provide optimal support for a wide range of users, allowing every Aussie to awaken their best each day. Emma provides delivery to regional areas of Australia, through their online e-commerce platform, offering a 100-night trial.

Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Engage in calming activities before bed to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. This might include reading a book, practicing gentle yoga, or enjoying a warm, caffeine-free beverage. Avoid screens at least an hour before bed, as the blue light emitted by devices can disrupt your body's production of sleep-inducing melatonin.

Keep Lights to a Minimum: It is definitely becoming lighter outside, which while enjoyable for backyard BBQs, can actually throw off your sleep, so try and keep the lights to a minimum. Consider blackout curtains or switching to warm, low lights in the home so that your body can still recognise its usual sleep time, despite the late sunset.

Finish work a minimum of 3 hours before bed: Yes, I know it’s tricky, but keeping your mind engaged in work close to bed can really throw off your sleep cycle. Work takes up enough of your day, that it shouldn’t take your sleep too. So, no matter whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a driver, a teacher, or a Matilda’s player, remember to give yourself some space between your work day and your slumber.

Incorporating these tips into your daily routine can contribute to a better night's sleep, helping you awaken each morning feeling rejuvenated and ready to embrace the day ahead.

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