Tomorrow may bring Americans together around turkey dinners, but, globally, something else unites us — we’re all sleep-deprived. Inadequate shuteye is now known to be one of the leading causes of stress, on an international scale.
The findings were reported by German market research institute GfK in a new study exploring the factors that give humans worldwide the most stress. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed cited lack of sleep as their biggest worry, coming up close behind pressure they put upon themselves (27 percent) and their finances (29 percent). The survey was conducted online and included answers from more than 27,000 responders.
Back in 2011, the World Association of Sleep Medicine referred to sleep deprivation as a “global epidemic,” with 45 percent of the world’s population affected by some sort of sleep problem.
It’s worth noting that stress and sleep deprivation compound one another. According to the American Psychological Association, 45 percent of stressed individuals feel even more stressed when they don’t sleep well, while 37 percent of Americans say their stress makes them tired or fatigued.
Though a worldwide issue, sleep deprivation hits some of us harder than others. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which analyzes economic and social well-being for citizens around the world, the French get the most amount of sleep in any developed country, with an average of 530 minutes per night; that’s nearly nine hours. Americans actually rank second, with 518 minutes; Spain (514 minutes) and New Zealand (513 minutes) round out the top four.
Who’s sleeping the least? South Koreans (469 minutes) and the Japanese (470) average just over 7 1/2 hours of sleep nightly.