Global sleep survey reveals COVID-19’s impact on sleep

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    Across Asia Pacific and the world, people have experienced at least one or more new sleep challenges since the beginning of COVID-19, with nearly two-thirds (62%) of those surveyed saying the pandemic has directly impacted their ability to sleep well. This finding was among others announced by Royal Philips in its 6th annual sleep survey, “Seeking Solutions: How COVID-19 Changed Sleep Around the World”.

    Almost a year since the onset of COVID-19, according to Philips 2021 global sleep survey released to coincide with World Sleep Day 2021 , people in APAC are reporting sleeping more, averaging 7.2 hours of sleep per night vs 7.1 hours in the 2020 survey, yet 41% feel that they are not satisfied with their sleep.

    Worry and stress rank as the top reason for APAC adults’ lack of sleep as well as their mobile devices such as phones and tablets, and sleeping environment.

    People in APAC kept awake by worry/stress say they worry most about their financial challenges, work responsibilities, their own/families’ health, and family in general. Nearly half also worry about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    Positively, those in APAC are also turning towards telehealth and online health resources to address sleep issues. Half of the respondents say the first time they had a telehealth appointment was during the pandemic. With the increased reliance on telehealth during the pandemic, six in ten respondents expressed a willingness to seek help for sleep related concerns in future from a sleep specialist via telehealth services, although many have yet to take that step.

    “The tools required to deliver telehealth efficiently and reliably already exist, and the interest from consumers is apparent, particularly in the face of COVID-19,” said Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, MD, Chief Medical Liaison, Sleep & Respiratory Care at Philips. “When used properly, sleep telehealth has the potential to enhance efficiency and quality of care, improve health outcomes, empower patients to make informed decisions, and provide equitable healthcare for all.”

    “According to a Philips survey previously, Filipinos have one of the highest rates of sleep deprivation in Asia; 46% of Filipinos do not get enough sleep. The pandemic has undeniably altered our daily routines, including our sleep habits. Despite the time savings from skipping the daily commute, it’s clear that many individuals still face multiple challenges in getting good and sufficient quality sleep each night,” said Ashwin Chari, country manager, Philips Philippines. “Getting enough sleep is essential for productivity and overall wellness, so it’s crucial that individuals facing persistent sleep issues take action to get themselves diagnosed and treated for serious underlying sleep-related chronic conditions.”