Estimated 5 million Australians claim sleep impacted by COVID-19
- National research by Medibank found almost 1-in-4 Australians have had their sleep affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – equating to an estimated 4,994,052 of the population*
- Of those who had their worst year of sleep, stress (53%) was unveiled as the leading cause, followed closely by financial stress or loss of income (36%) and change in work environment (27%)
- Of those affected, 69% of women said they had less sleep, compared to just 43% of men
- Medibank has partnered with renowned sleep expert Dr Michael Mosley to help Aussies sleep better as part of its Live Better program
Medibank has today revealed new national research in partnership with world-renowned sleep expert Dr Michael Mosley, to help Aussies achieve a consistent good night’s sleep as part of its Live Better program.
The study discovered that an estimated 5 million Australians* had their sleep affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, 40% of those surveyed reported that a good night’s sleep was ‘priceless’ to them.
Examining 1,000 Aussies’ sleep habits, the national report also assessed the effects of sleep and its impact on overall physical and mental wellbeing.
Of those who claimed 2020 was their worst year of sleep yet, it revealed that general stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic was the number one cause of their sleep loss (53%), followed closely by financial stress or loss of income (36%), and changes in the work environment due to lockdown and restrictions (27%).
Notably, men took the lead for the best night’s sleep, with 65% reporting they were happy with their overall sleep, compared to only 49% of women. Additionally, among those who’s sleep was affected, women were significantly more impacted, with 69% reporting loss of sleep, compared to just 43% of men.
Leading sleep expert and Medibank Ambassador Dr Michael Mosley believes 7–8 hours of quality sleep is more important than many Australians may think, and that the results can improve both mental and physical health.
“The challenges of last year have undoubtedly impacted all Australians very differently, but loss of sleep caused by the stressors of 2020 appears to be universal,” Dr Mosley said.
“Many report feeling moody, lethargic or sore after a bad or interrupted night’s sleep. On top of this, long-term lack of sleep could lead to more serious issues, such as a higher risk of hypertension, diabetes, heart problems and poor immunity.
“The good news is there are really simple and easy ways to achieve a good night’s sleep, including setting up a sleep window to manage your hours, and reducing screen time and caffeine intake at certain points in the day. It’s these small changes that could make a world of difference.”
Interestingly, while most Australians surveyed (70%) know the benefits involved with reducing screen-time before bed, more than half (60%) of these respondents admitted to still staying up online and on mobile phones – scrolling through social media or watching entertainment across streaming platforms.
The report also found two-thirds of Aussies surveyed (66%) know the benefits of not drinking caffeinated beverages after midday to help with their sleep, but about 40% report they do so anyway. Similarly, 25% of Aussies who know it is recommended to stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime, admit to eating within an hour of going to sleep
To find out how to ‘Sleep Better’ with Dr Michael Mosley visit medibank.com.au/livebetter.
Medibank’s Live Better program was created to support Australians on their journey towards a healthier, happier life with inspiration, activities and rewards to help Aussies live better.
About the Research Research commissioned by Pure Profile on behalf of Medibank. Research was conducted in December 2020, among a sample of 1,000 Australians aged 18 years and up. Sample split is representative by state and gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates. Calculated via number of Australians aged over 18 reported by the Australian Electoral Commission.
Other Report Findings
● 4-in-10 Aussie’s surveyed classify sleep as ‘priceless’ – revealing sleep is highly valued
● Men are happier than women when it comes to the amount of sleep, they get each night – 65% of men surveyed are happy with their sleep, compared to only 49% of women
● Approximately 3-in-10 Australians surveyed reach for a late-night snack within an hour of bedtime – and about 5% are eating all the way up until bed
● Even though 2-in-3 Australians know the benefits of not drinking caffeinated beverages after midday to help with their sleep, 40% report they do so anyway
● Centennials and Millennials were found to be significantly more likely to have their sleep impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 50% surveyed reporting a change
● Women surveyed are one and a half times more likely to turn to having a hot drink before bed than men
About Dr Michael Mosley
Dr Michael Mosley is a television journalist, author, presenter and founder of The Fast 800 program. Dr Michael Mosley has become an established leader within the health industry, with over 30 years' experience – having authored both The Fast 800 and The Fast Diet. Most recently Dr Michael Mosley has turned his focus to sleep, prompting him to partner with Medibank as a sleep ambassador. The move comes after his latest book, Fast Asleep – focusing on the importance of a good night’s sleep.