Australia…we have a sleep crisis

The importance of good sleep is well researched, yet we continue to ignore this wonderful restorative tool in a world that is becoming more hectic. The implications to individuals health patterns and the risk to business are reaching crisis proportions.

The Sleep Institute from Flinders University declares

  • We need 7-9 hours sleep per night
  • Up to 40% of Aussies are not getting enough sleep
  • Around 15% suffer from chronic insomnia
  • More than 20% of the population have potentially deadly sleep apnoea
  • Around 80% of those with sleep apnoea do not know they have the condition

Sleep deprivation is classified as torture under the Geneva Convention…ask all new parents of babies who do not sleep. 

Sleep manipulation of 20 year old students to four (4) hours per night for six (6) nights saw them go from healthy to pre diabetic. Testosterone levels tracked in young men following one week of sleep deprivation showed they had aged a decade. Sleep deprivation over longer periods result in dire consequences and can be a factor in premature death. 

The data Optimum has on sleep profiles from the Australian workplace differentiates between quality and quantity of sleep. Universally, individuals (84%-87%) report having good quality sleep and are therefore at low risk. This finding is applicable across industries, genders and age. Only (1%-3%) report having poor quality of sleep and therefore are classified at increased risk.   

However, the data on quantity of sleep is alarming. Across the working ages (16 – 60+ years) in a sample (n=1647), 31% to 46% report less than desired quantity of sleep and are classified at increased to substantially increase risk.   

Further analysis indicates that 53% of females and 42% of males are in the higher risk groups. They are not getting enough sleep. They are turning up for work sleep deprived. They are a potential risk to any business. 

The risks associated with sleep deprivation can manifest when driving to and from work, particularly shift workers. Operating equipment. Driving vehicles at work. Falling asleep at the desk. Operating at sub optimal levels when at work thereby being another cost to any business.  

Mitigating this risk means getting more sleep. Individuals need to be made more aware of the real impact poor quantity sleep has on them, the business and the potential risks associated with poor sleep. 

Sleep is our superpower, but we must use it to gain the benefits. 

To gain a better understanding of how sleep is impacting your business contact the Optimum Team at or  

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