The pandemic might be causing us to lose sleep but we're trying more strategies to remedy that

·2-min read
The pandemic has disrupted our sleep patterns, and women are particularly affected.

How are we sleeping one year into the global pandemic? That's what Philips set to find out this year for its Global Sleep Survey, conducted by KJT Group online with 13,000 individuals in 13 countries and released ahead of World Sleep Day. And their results suggest that many people are finding that a good night's rest is more elusive than in the past.

Bedtime stress

It seems that we can't talk about sleep issues without talking about stress. With nearly half of those surveyed (48%) indicating that the covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on their stress levels, it's not hard to connect the dots when the report indicates that stress is the number one barrier to good sleep. So what kinds of worries are keeping us awake? Well in addition to the pandemic, finances and work are high on the list.

Overall, just over half of the respondents (55%) indicated that they were satisfied with their sleep, with significant differences observed between countries. India reported a greater number of people satisfied with their sleep at 67%, followed by 57% in China. However, only 29% of respondents in Japan reported sleep satisfaction and just 35% in France, while 40% claimed satisfaction in the US and the UK, 41% in South Korea, 45% in Italy and Australia, 46% in Brazil, 47% in Germany, 49% in Singapore and 55% in the Netherlands.

This year the average sleep duration for a weeknight came in at 6.9 hours for a weeknight and 7.7 hours for a weekend night. Adults are recommended to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.

Sleep and the gender gap

Just 32% of us feel well rested most mornings, and a whopping 70% of respondents acknowledged experiencing at least one "new sleep challenge" since the start of the pandemic. And as with many other knock-on effects of the pandemic, women seem to be hit harder than men, with 41% indicating it has "negatively impacted their ability to sleep well" compared to 33% of men, and 36% of women "currently suffering from insomnia" compared to 28% of men.

And while more people are scrolling on their cell phone in bed this year (84%) compared to last year (74%), with 73% looking at social media, this pandemic year has also been a time for many to boost their awareness about getting help for sleep, with the Philips survey finding many seeking information online about sleep and sleep treatments for the first time. Popular lifestyle strategies to help our sleep routine include listening to soothing music, meditation and reading, with women more inclined to test out a variety of new approaches.

Christina Musacchio