Chinese need more sleep amid mounting pressure

Updated 2017-03-22 09:01:09 Xinhua

Sleeping the night through has become a luxury for many Chinese living amid the growing stress of a fast-paced society.

A survey by Chinese Sleep Research Society showed that 76 percent of Chinese aged 10 to 45 suffer from sleep disorders, while only 11 percent of the nearly 60,000 surveyed said they could regularly sleep the whole night through.

The survey is part of activities marking the 17th World Sleep Day that falls on Tuesday.

Entrepreneurs suffer most due to competition pressure and uncertainty about their careers, and 91 percent of them still feel tired even after sleeping.

In the past, people were hesitant to discuss insomnia with their physicians because they were afraid their problems would be seen as trivial, or conversely, they were afraid they would be told they had a serious illness. This, however, has changed as a result of improved standards of living and growing awareness of health. Insomnia has become a public topic and draws broad concern.

The fast pace of life, work pressure and extensive use of lighting are all factors resulting in insomnia, said Zhang Bin, deputy director-general of the sleep medicine committee of the Chinese Medical Doctors Association.

In addition, the survey showed that use of computers and mobile phones affected sleep quality. Some 93 percent of respondents said they spent time watching TV series or shopping on the Internet before going to bed.

Occasional insomnia is common, but constant insomnia may induce various problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Drinking alcohol or doing sports before going to bed do not help.

Statistics show that the risk of depression is greater for insomniacs, and abuse of alcohol and other substances is more prevalent among them.

The appropriate sleep time for an adult is seven to eight hours, less for the elderly and nine to ten hours for children, said Lu Lin, head of Peking University Sixth Hospital.

Lu noted that constant lack of sleep among children would lead to attention disorders and may even affect the development of the brain.

The World Sleep Day has been marked in China since 2003.

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