Good sleep continues to evade many
This year’s results also revealed that getting sufficient sleep remains a challenge for many around the world – whether in Asia Pacific (APAC), the Americas or Europe – with those surveyed averaging just 7.0 hours of sleep per night.
The situation is more worrying for adults in the APAC countries surveyed3, who get an average of 7.1 hours of sleep per night. While the quantity of sleep is close to the global average number of hours, sleep satisfaction of adults in the region remains low. Almost half (47%) feel that they are not satisfied with their sleep, and over 1 in 3 (35%) of them believe getting adequate sleep is beyond their control.
Poor sleep quality is evident in the form of restlessness, with eight in 10 adults in APAC (79%) waking up at least once during the night. Just over half say they have a good understanding of what prevents them from getting good sleep (60%), or know what they can do to tackle their sleeplessness (58%).
Looking at the factors that most inhibit sleep, worry or stress continues to be the top reason (29%), along with one’s sleeping environment including noise, light and temperature (15%), mobile devices like phones or tablets (13%) and health conditions such as pain or breathing problems (9%).
Mobile addiction causing sleep woes
With more than half of the world’s mobile subscribers living in APAC4, it is unsurprising that most APAC adults (83%) who were surveyed use their phones in bed, despite experts’ recommendations not to do so.
Half of APAC respondents (49%) say the last thing they do before falling asleep is looking at their phone, higher than the 39% among global adults surveyed, and 46% of APAC adults look at their phone as soon as they wake up in the morning (vs 39% of global adults). Around 15% even respond to texts and calls that wake them up through the night, preventing them from getting uninterrupted rest.
Hurdles in seeking treatment or diagnosis
Philips’ global sleep survey found that the fear of the unknown is a limiting factor for people getting diagnosed for sleep conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Over a quarter (29%) of adults in APAC believe they might be at risk of OSA, yet 26% are afraid to take a sleep test because they do not want to know if they have OSA.
As a seldom-discussed, under-diagnosed condition, OSA is characterised by repeated interruptions in breathing throughout the sleep cycle, preventing oxygen from reaching the lungs5. With the prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing estimated at about 15% in adults, compounded by risk factors like obesity where about two-thirds of Malaysian adults are overweight or obese, it is crucial to diagnose and treat OSA with urgency6,7. Symptoms of OSA include choking or gasping for air during sleep, loud and persistent snoring, excessive daytime fatigue and poor concentration during the day.