The Covid-19 pandemic changed people’s everyday lives over the past year and also had a detrimental effect on Koreans’ sleep health, a report shows.
A survey conducted by Philips found that Koreans had the least satisfactory sleep out of 13 countries. (Philips)
The report released by Royal Philips on Friday found that six out of ten Koreans had a sleep disorder. The healthcare company conducted the Global Post-Covid-19 Sleep Trends survey of 13,000 people in 13 countries, including 999 Koreans.
The survey asked questions about sleep health management, such as changes in sleep pattern after Covid-19, sleep satisfaction, and efforts to improve sleep.
In the survey, 61 percent of Koreans said they were stressed by Covid-19, which was far higher than the global respondents (48 percent). Other countries included in the survey were the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, United Kingdom, Singapore, Italy, India, Japan, China, France and Australia.
According to Philips, high stress is an important factor in getting a good night’s sleep. It was the most important factor affecting a good night’s sleep, as cited by overseas respondents (24 percent) and Koreans (28 percent).
The survey also found that 70 percent of international respondents after Covid-19 had sleep problems. Sleep problems included waking up during the night (43 percent), inability to fall asleep (34 percent), and difficulty maintaining sleep (27 percent).
Compared to foreigners, 62 percent of Koreans also had sleep problems after the outbreak of Covid-19, with sleep problems similar to waking up at night (39 percent), insomnia (24 percent) and difficulty maintaining sleep (17 percent) as reasons for lack of sleep .
In terms of sleep quality, Korea ranks at the bottom of the 13 countries.
When asked about sleep satisfaction, 55 percent of the foreign participants were satisfied. However, only four in ten Koreans responded that they were satisfied with their sleep, well below the global average.
Sleep times in Korea were also shorter than the international average. The survey found that Koreans’ average sleep times on weekdays and weekends were 6.7 and 7.4 hours, respectively, shorter than the global averages of 6.9 hours and 7.8 hours.
While 58 percent of respondents said they were getting enough sleep, only 35 percent of Korean respondents said they were getting enough sleep.
Also, only 29 percent of Koreans said they felt refreshed after sleeping, which was below the global average (59 percent) and the lowest among the 13 countries surveyed.
“Experts point out that cell phone use can be a major cause of insomnia,” said Philips. “According to the survey, 84 percent of respondents said they used their cell phones before and after sleep, which is a significant increase compared to the 74 percent in 2020.”
Also, 55 percent of Koreans responded that they use their smartphones as soon as they wake up, the company added.
“It is an especially difficult time to maintain sleep health as life patterns and biological rhythms change due to Corona 19,” said Kim Yeon-jae, director of sleep and respiratory medicine at Philips Korea. “Getting enough sleep is an essential part of a healthy life.”
Kim stressed that people should seek out specialist medical services and actively seek diagnosis and treatment if they have persistent insomnia.