Do you really sleep like a baby?

Updated: 2013-03-21 07:35

By Liu Zhihua (China Daily)

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Many Chinese do not sleep well, but most of them do not pay enough attention to the issue, according to the 2013 China Sleep Quality Index released by the Chinese Medical Doctor Association in Beijing on March 19, to mark World Sleep Day, which falls on March 21.

The report was based on a survey jointly conducted by Sleemon Furniture Co and Horizon China, a leading survey and research company. They interviewed more than 107,000 respondents from households in 20 cities, 20 counties and 20 rural areas across China in November and December 2012.

According to the report, Chinese people sleep on average 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 still feel groggy and weak when they wake up in the morning.

More than 70 percent of those who have issues with a sound sleep attribute this to insomnia, sleep apnea (a frequent closing of throat while sleeping) and physical discomfort.

Additionally, falling asleep is not easy for many people. Some 15 percent of interviewees find it very hard to drift into asleep, and more than 55 percent of the respondents have to resort to sleep-improving measures such as listening to soft music, and reading a book.

Bad moods, physical diseases and psychological pressure are the most important factors that affect sleep quality. Among the respondents, more than 66 percent of women respondents say a bad mood affects their sleep negatively, two points higher than their male counterparts.

About 70 percent of city residents consider a bad mood as one of the primary causes of poor sleep, while in rural areas, the ratio is 62 percent.

About 65 percent of respondents admit they cannot sleep well because of a sudden illness such as a cold.

Younger people are more likely to have sleep problems, because of work pressures, the report said.

About 62 percent of young people cite work pressure as the main cause of poor sleeping patterns, followed by 54 percent (middle-aged) and 21 percent (elderly).

Another interesting finding is, the more highly educated and higher paid, the more likely someone suffers from poor sleep.

Ye Jingying, a sleep specialist and ear, nose and throat diseases specialist with Beijing Tongren Hospital, says: "People know sleep is important, but they may not be aware that they are having bad sleep.

"If one wakes up frequently during the night, or always feels groggy in the day, they should pay attention to their sleep patterns."

(China Daily 03/21/2013 page18)