These are world’s most sleep-deprived countries

Have you ever wondered if Brits get enough sleep – Well, Brits rank a staggering 24th in the world for quality of sleep.

By Nigel Booth
Saturday, 6th August 2022, 12:45 pm
Many people around the globe are sleep-deprived (photo: Adobe)
Many people around the globe are sleep-deprived (photo: Adobe)

From afternoon siestas to getting a full eight hours of beauty sleep, which countries are the most well-rested across the globe?

With a multitude of modern world factors affecting how well rested we are, a new study by online blinds retailer 247 Blinds delves into which countries are getting the best and worst night’s sleep and why.

The global sleep index looks at the impact of screen time on our sleep and how often we turn to the Internet for information on sleep aids.

Chart showing daily searches for sleep remedies per 100,000 people

Whether we’re searching ‘do sleep sprays really work?’ or scrolling through TikTok until the early hours, it turns out our use of technology is a strong indicator of our quality of rest.

Alp-studded Austria took the top spot for the most well-rested country¹, with a fairly low average screen time per person of five hours 42 minutes per day – it may be unsurprising that the mountainous country ranked as the fifth lowest for sleep queries.

Perhaps there’s something in the Alps, as neighbouring Switzerland came in third place with only three minutes more spent on devices.

Us Brits clearly need a helping hand when it comes to snoozing – ranking third highest in the world for sleep query searches. Are we all struggling with our rest or do we just need Google to confirm what the best sleeping position is?

In fact, 36% of UK citizens struggle to get to sleep on a weekly basis and 1 in 5 of us have trouble falling asleep every night, according to research. So if you’re tossing and turning over a lack of sleep, you’re not alone - it’s estimated that a third of us are suffering with insomnia in the UK.²

Interestingly, the least well-rested country was the tropical Philippines. As a hot and humid country, it doesn’t see much temperature variation from season to season so it’s unlikely that weather variation will affect their rest. With sunny South Africa, Malaysia and India coming in hot after the Philippines, the results suggest that hotter countries are suffering with their sleep. Indeed, in the UK we’ve all been struggling with sleeping in the heat over the last few weeks, so it seems to be a common problem.

According to the study’s findings, the country that spends the highest amount of daily time on devices (including phones, tablets and laptops) is South Africa. With South Africa also placing third place for spending the most time on social media, it’s no surprise that this culturally diverse destination is the most screen-dependent.

Dr Deborah Lee, from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, said: “It’s pretty much impossible to avoid artificial light in the modern world. Blue light is emitted from the sun, but also from digital screens including smartphones, laptops, iPads, electronic reading devices, televisions and electric lights, including fluorescent and LED light bulbs.

“Many research studies have demonstrated a fall in melatonin levels when using blue-light-emitting devices close to bedtime. Reading an electronic book before bed has been shown to lengthen the time to onset of sleep, and to reduce the amount of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.”

Stressing about your sleep during the heatwave?

Take inspiration from hotter countries like Spain and Australia who keep windows, blinds and curtains closed during the day (and night) to block out the sunlight and hot air. Ditch the duvet and sleep under a sheet to keep cooler.