World Sleep Day 2023: 55% Indians surveyed are getting less than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep; 28% say sleep quality has deteriorated post the COVID pandemic
- ● 21% Indians surveyed are getting less than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night
- ● 10% increase in people getting less than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep on average over last year
- ● 61% surveyed say “need to use the washroom once or more during sleep time” as top cause of disruption
March 17, 2023, New Delhi: Today is World Sleep Day. A day that reminds us of the importance of having a good night’s sleep and its impact on wellness and health.
Since 2020, LocalCircles has been receiving citizen inputs on sleep, especially in the context of the COVID pandemic. With many citizens reporting sleep disruption post their COVID infection, LocalCircles for the first time in 2021 carried out a nationwide study to understand how Indians are sleeping post the COVID pandemic.
To understand if some of those sleep disruptions induced by COVID were temporary or permanent in nature. To find out how Indians are sleeping post 3 years of the pandemic, LocalCircles conducted a national study on “How India Sleeps”. The study received over 39,000 responses from citizens located in 309 districts of India. 64% respondents were men while 36% respondents were women. 43% respondents were from tier 1, 35% from tier 2 and 22% respondents were from tier 3 & 4 districts.
55% of Indians surveyed confirm getting less than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep daily
The first survey question sought to understand from Indians about the average number of hours of uninterrupted sleep they have been getting over the past 12 months. It asked the respondents, “How many hours of uninterrupted sleep have you generally got at night in the past 12 months?” Of the 13,438 who responded to the query, 43% indicated 6-8 hours; 34% indicated 4-6 hours; 21% indicated 4 hours and just 2% said 8-10 hours. On an aggregate basis, 55% of Indians surveyed are getting less than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep daily.
When LocalCircles compared the findings of the survey with that of the 2022 survey, it found that the percentage of citizens who are getting less than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep has risen in the last 12 months from 50% in 2022 to 55% now. This is somewhat concerning as in 2022, when COVID variant Omicron emerged, a relatively a milder version than Alpha and Delta variants, the expectation was of improvement in sleep of Indians over 2020-2022.
Percentage of citizens surveyed who are getting less than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep rose in the last 12 months
Most or 61% surveyed said “the need to use the washroom once or more during sleep time” is a driver for their sleep interruptions
The next question sought to find out “what are the different interruptions you generally experience that prevent you from getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night?” Some among the 13,387 respondents indicated more than one reason. Most or 61% indicated the “need to use the washroom once or more during sleep time” as the cause for their sleep interruption; 27% indicated “going late to bed and scheduled/ household activity in the early morning hours”; 24% attributed their sleep interruption to “other factors like mosquitoes, external sounds”; 20% shared that they “have a medical condition like sleep apnea and others that don’t allow me to sleep straight for 8 hours”; 12% indicated children and parents related interruption”; 14% admitted that they have “mobile calls and messages related interruption”; 10% admitted that it was due to “uncomfortable bed/ mattress”; 10% indicated having other interruptions in their sleep; and 14% said they are not able to “sleep for 8 hours straight” for no specific reason.
28% of those surveyed admitted that their sleep pattern “has deteriorated” post the COVID pandemic
New studies have now emerged that even after months or even a year after recovery from COVID, people might continue to face difficulty in getting a sound sleep no matter if they had a mild, moderate or severe COVID which may explain some of the sleep related disruptions, especially around sleep apnea and unknown factors.
The next question in the survey specifically focused on determining the magnitude of COVID related sleep disruption. It asked respondents, “How has the quality of your sleep changed post the COVID pandemic?” This question received 12,700 responses with 59% stating that there has been no change as it “is same as pre-pandemic, 7% indicated it has in fact “improved” possibly due to “work from home” schedule having improved the work-life balance. However, 28% of those surveyed admitted that their sleep pattern “has deteriorated” post the COVID pandemic and 6% of respondents did not give a clear response opting for “Can’t Say”.
In summary, the study “How India Sleeps” finds that 55% of Indians get less than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep daily with 21% of them getting less than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. 61% of those surveyed said the “need to use the washroom once or more during sleep time” disrupted their sleep; 20% shared that they have a medical condition like sleep apnea and others that don’t allow them to sleep straight for 8 hours with others citing reasons like late bedtimes and early morning schedules, external sounds, mosquitoes, mobile calls and messages, etc. In the study, 28% of the Indians surveyed said their sleep quality has deteriorated post the COVID pandemic. More research is needed on what can be done for those having their sleep disrupted post their COVID infection. There is a close bi-directional relationship between poor sleep and mental health. Poor sleep can make feelings of depression, anxiety and stress worse and good sleep can help to improve such conditions. The key here is for citizens and families to understand how much sleep is essential and the ill-effects of not getting enough hours of sleep on a consistent basis. Also, the medical community has a role to play here in creating awareness about good sleep as well as documenting what they hear from patients about post COVID sleep disruptions.
The survey received over 39,000 responses from citizens located in 309 districts of India. 64% respondents were men while 36% respondents were women. 43% respondents were from tier 1, 35% from tier 2 and 22% respondents were from tier 3 & 4 districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.
LocalCircles, India’s leading Community Social Media platform enables citizens and small businesses to escalate issues for policy and enforcement interventions and enables Government to make policies that are citizen and small business centric. LocalCircles is also India’s # 1 pollster on issues of governance, public and consumer interest. More about LocalCircles can be found on https://www.localcircles.com
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