Aussies are losing 28 million hours of sleep

If you’ve noticed your friends are just as tired as you are in the morning, there may be a very good reason for that.

And before there is a clash over who gets to the coffee first, consider why so many Aussies are struggling to get enough quality shut-eye.

According to recent research commissioned by Freedom Furniture for World Sleep Day on Friday 18 March, nearly 50% of people reported a poor night’s sleep the night prior, and only 12% said they had a great night’s sleep.

Sleepy girl trying to hiding under the pillow on bed.
Nearly half of us are regularly having a bad night's sleep. Photo: Getty

On average, Aussies are only getting 6.6 hours of sleep per night, but 73% said that they wanted more, with 8 hours identified as their ideal amount.

That’s over 28 million hours of sleep Aussies are losing out on each night, but why?

What Keeps Us Up At Night

According to Lloyd Craske, Head of Sleep at Freedom, stress is the number one reason so many are struggling to sleep, with 53% of the 1000 survey respondents citing stress and worry as the main thieves robbing them of sleep.

Other reasons include; noise at 27%, illness or injury at 20% and an uncomfortable bed or pillow at 20%.

“COVID-19 has also had a dramatic impact on sleep, with 40% reporting that worry about the pandemic has had negatively impacted their sleep,” Mr Craske says.


Research showed that for those who slept less than their ideal number of hours, 70% said the lack of sleep had a negative impact on their mood, alertness and overall feeling of wellbeing.

And you thought being Hangry was bad!

Gender Sleep Gap

And it seems the gender gap affects sleep, too.

Mr Craske said the research indicates women have a lot on their mind when they go to bed with 61% of females reporting worry and stress was a reason for their poor night’s sleep, compared to only 45% of males, even though women are more likely to have a bed-time routine than men.

Couple In Bed With Wife Suffering From Insomnia Late At Night
It seems the gender gap affects sleep. Photo: Getty

Sleep Stats

Over 41% of Australians are looking at their screens just prior to falling asleep, despite sleep experts warning against this practice for a sound night’s sleep.

Other key findings from the research include:

  • Retirees/over 65s reported the best quality sleep while those aged 45-54 and those

  • performing home duties reported the worst.

  • 73% of 18 -24 year olds reported that worry and stress was a reason for their poor night’s

  • sleep, compared to 33% of over 65s.

  • 1 in 5 people take over an hour to get to sleep.

  • 30% of respondents included taking a bath or shower in their bedtime routine.

  • 47% have a hard mattress.

  • Australians have an average of 1.69 pillows per person.

Can a better mattress help?

If you’ve ever stayed in a motel with a mattress that is too hard or too soft you'll know how it impacts your sleep, and 20% of Aussies are reporting an uncomfortable bed or pillow contributing to their poor sleep quality right now.

Mr Craske says that there are a number of important factors to consider when purchasing a mattress for a good night’s sleep.

“Look for a mattress that will support your body properly and has a good quality spring system which needs to support you through all the curves of your body,” he advises. “The right support may help avoid those aches and pains and stiff lower back people can sometimes experience after a night in bed.

"Pocket springs can also reduce motion transfer, which means your partner’s night time movement is less likely to disturb you.

Wonderful news for those with a partner who gets the “jimmy legs!”.

*This research was conducted by Engine Group for Freedom. 1005 Australian residents 18+ were surveyed. The sample was representative of the Australian population based on ABS census data.

The 15th annual World Sleep Day will be Friday, March 18. The slogan and theme for World Sleep Day 2022 is 'Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World'. Read more stories here.

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