New research has found that Kiwis are among the best sleepers in the world

Publish Date
Thursday, 28 September 2023, 10:01AM
Are we getting enough sleep at night? Photo / Getty Images

Are we getting enough sleep at night? Photo / Getty Images

In 2023, it can feel like countless worries are keeping us up at night.

Whether it’s the cost of living crisis, the endless cycle of bad news, the kids are keeping you up or you’re simply a poor sleeper, getting that much-needed shut-eye can be a nightly battle.

We covet sleep so much that nowadays, “sleep tourism” is an actual thing - part wellness fad, part travel trend - with hotels and wellness retreats offering experiences specifically designed to give you the ideal night’s sleep. And there are countless sleep-tracking apps available to document your every toss and turn.

But it turns out that Kiwis are in fact among the best sleepers in the world, coming in fourth on the list of the countries that get the most sleep.

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A new study analysing data from sleep-tracking app Sleepcycle reveals that the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand are among the countries boasting the biggest proportion of people getting between seven and nine hours a night.

According to the research, 74.63 per cent of Kiwis surveyed get the recommended hours of sleep. And that might be down to the fact that we’re also among those who most frequently search for sleep aids, proving that being well-rested is hugely important to us.

Scandinavian countries are the most interested in those sleep aids - such as melatonin, magnesium, CBD oil and lavender.

New Zealand ranks high on the list of countries where people are getting enough sleep. Photo / PlushCare

PlushCare, an online medical care service, analysed the data to find out which countries are getting the most - and least - amounts of sleep, defining those who sleep 10 or more hours a night as “long sleepers”, those who get five hours or less as “short sleepers”. The remainder are getting the recommended number of hours of sleep per night, which is seven to nine hours, according to the Ministry of Health.

Our neighbours across the ditch in Australia boast the highest percentage of “long sleepers” in the world, 8.6 per cent, with Iran the lowest at 1.32 per cent.

Qatar is home to the highest percentage of “short sleepers”, with 36.64 per cent, and the Netherlands the lowest at 6.34 per cent. In the US, 70.14 per cent of the population gets the recommended amount of sleep.

Aussies and Kiwis are reportedly the earliest to go to bed as per a 2016 study, which might be making a difference to the length and quality of our sleep.

So if you’re not lucky enough to be among those of us who get enough sleep each night, here are a few sleep tips from PlushCare to try.

Tips for getting a good night’s sleep:

You might not have the time to head off on a luxury sleep retreat or the cash to drop on the latest sleep trend promising to solve all your problems - but there are a few steps you can take to improve your shut-eye.

  • Get some exercise during the day;
  • Avoid eating a big meal too close to bedtime;
  • Don’t drink coffee later in the day, and cut down on alcohol intake;
  • Sleep in a dark room and stay off your phone before bed to wind down;
  • If you’re struggling to sleep, read or meditate outside your bedroom.

Happy sleeping! 

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.

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