Sleep in Western countries
- By matnedelec
- On 01/05/2019
And what about you, do you get enough sleep?
Here we are in 2020 and it’s already a new decade. New Year’s night was a very short, festive and maybe even sleepless one for some of you. And what if taking care of your sleep was your new year’s resolution? Surveys led by public health authorities in Western countries are clear. A large proportion of us doesn’t get enough sleep. French people, for example, sleep on average 6 hours and 42 minutes per 24-hour cycle. The average sleep duration has reached the critical level of less than 7 hours! This is a public health issue. An organization of sleep experts recently penned an article with the provocative title: “Our lack of sleep is killing us”. Approximately 30% of the population sleeps less than 7 hours a night. During one of your next nightly awakenings, just be curious and look out of your window onto the sleeping city. You will then be able to count the lit-up windows, rather than sheep, and will realize that you are far from being the only one… However, sleep plays a crucial part in physical (thanks to deep sleep) and psychological recovery (the role of rapid eye movement REM sleep). The recommended sleep duration for an adult between the ages of 18 and 65 is anywhere between 7 to 9 hours. Rest assured: solutions exist! First of all, sleep must be reinserted into a general context of sleep-wake rhythms. The quality of your night will depend on the quality of your day. Regular physical activity and good emotional management are already strong allies. Moreover, similarly to a switch, strategies exist in order to easily switch from wake to sleep mode throughout the evening. And then swiftly from sleep to wake mode in the early hours of the morning. Light therapies, nutrition, bedding, cooling down, sleep extension, etc. are examples of some of these strategies. Several scientific studies have revealed the superiority of cognitive behavioural therapies over sleeping pills, without the potential side effects linked to the intake of medication. There is an urge to take action and care for your sleep! We will accompany you in this ever-so-crucial process.
Mathieu Nedelec, sport scientist in charge of research projects on sleep and recovery. I teach best practices to improve sleep and performance. I will read your answers carefully and let you know when my next posts will be published.