Sleep issues still ignored in China: report

Updated: 2013-03-20 13:16

By Liu Zhihua (

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A large percentage of the population in China has problems getting a good night's sleep, but people are not paying enough attention to the issue, according to the 2013 China Sleep Quality Index released by the Chinese Medical Doctors Association in Beijing on March 19.

The report, released to mark the World Sleep Day on March 21, was based on a survey sponsored by Sleemon Furniture Co, a Chinese bedroom furniture company, and conducted by Horizon China, a leading survey and research company in China.

With household interviews in 20 cities, 20 counties and 20 rural areas across China, the survey was conducted in the last two months in 2012, and polled more than 107,000 people.

Sleep issues still ignored in China: report

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Sleep issues still ignored in China: report

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According to the report, on average, Chinese people sleep for eight hours and 50 minutes every day — much more than the seven to eight hours' sleep recommended by medical experts, but about 50 percent of the people feel groggy and weak when they get up.

Generally, more than 70 percent of people have problems getting sound sleep, due to insomnia, sleep apnea (a frequent closing of throat while sleeping), physical discomfort, among other issues.

Additionally, falling asleep is not easy for many people.

About 14 in 100 interviewees go to bed after midnight, 15 percent find it very hard to drift into sleep, and more than 55 percent of the respondents have to resort to extraordinary measures to fall asleep, such as listening to soft music, reading a book, etc.

Bad moods, physical diseases and psychological pressure are the most important factors that influence people's sleep quality.

Among all the respondents, more than 66 percent of women said that bad moods impact their sleep negatively, 2 points higher than male respondents.

About 70 percent of city residents consider bad moods as one of prime causes of bad sleep, while in rural areas, the ratio is only 62 percent.

About 48 percent of respondents said that they cannot sleep well due to chronic diseases; about 65 percent believe that sudden illnesses influence their sleep, such as cold and diarrhea.

Young people are more likely to have sleep problems, mainly because of pressure at work, the report said.

About 62 percent of young people said that work pressure was the main reason behind their poor sleep quality. Among middle-aged people, the rate is 54 percent, and among the elderly, the rate is only 21 percent.

The higher the education and income levels, the more likely people will have poor sleep, the report said.

"People know sleep is important, but they may not be aware that they are experiencing bad sleep," said Ye Jingying, a sleep specialist at the Beijing Tongren Hospital.

"If one wakes up frequently during the night, or always feels groggy during the day, he should pay attention to his sleep patterns," Ye said.