A survey by the Sleep Health Foundation has revealed Australians go to sleep at 11:34pm and wake up at 06:32am on average, achieving a grand total of 7 hours 18 minutes of sleep.
People aged 18-34 slept steadily through the night, clocking an average sleep time of 7 hours and 37 minutes – an extra 48 minutes more than those aged 55 and over. Meanwhile, those in their 50’s woke up the earliest at 6:06am and took 10% more naps during the day. They also had a more restless sleep during the night and generally slept less than the younger generation at 6 hours 50 minutes on average.
The same study shows we tend to consume more caffeine, alcohol and sleeping pills as we get older. We also nap more with age, but sleep less and have more disturbances during the night.
So how much are we consuming drink wise and how is this affecting out sleep? 87% of us drink caffeine and 34% of us drink alcohol during the day, with the consumption percentages increasing with age. Australians in the 18-34 age bracket would have 1.5 espressos, while those aged 55 and over have 2-3 espresso shots. The percentage of those who drink alcohol on a daily basis varies from 19% among the 18-34 year olds to 51% in the 55+ age group.
When it comes to napping, 13% of us love a quick kip! This number also increases with age, from 11% of the 18-34 year olds to 22% of those aged 55 and above. And while only 3% of those surveyed reported sleep disorders, 79% complained of sleep disturbances. 7% of us needed to take a pill to get to sleep, with the overall percentage ranging from 3% (18-34) to 15% (55+). It’s apparent that the older we get, the more exhausted we are.
As we age, we should begin to drink less coffee and alcohol. ‘Going off the sauce’ and cutting down on stimulants in general is more beneficial than you think – especially when we want a healthy amount of sleep during the night. There are also plenty of natural stimulants that do a great job of picking you up in the morning, so you might think of giving the coffee machine a rest.