A Canadian with Dutch roots, Ellen has had half her heart in the Netherlands since the day she was b...
Dutch population not getting enough sleep17 March 2014, by Ellen Keith
Many people in the Netherlands are not sleeping well, but they may have themselves to blame. According to a study by NSWO, the Dutch sleep research organisation, almost one in two people are dissatisfied with the amount of sleep they get. However, many Dutch have late-night habits and routines that would directly impact their ability to sleep.
This study was conducted in honour of National Sleep Week, which was last week (March 10-15). The NSWO surveyed 1000 people in the Netherlands, with an average respondent age of 50.7 years.
49 per cent of those surveyed acknowledged dissatisfaction with the amount of sleep they get. Approximately one-third of people reported that they feel tired during the day, while insomnia causes problems for 22 per cent of the population. One-fifth of respondents try to remedy their sleep deprivation with a regular midday nap.
Late-night snacks and drinks to blame
However, many Dutch people may be causing their sleep problems themselves. Telephone use and the consumption of alcohol before bed were two of the most common habits that respondents mentioned in their late-night routines.
41 per cent of people admitted to drinking at least one alcoholic beverage within one hour of going to bed, with men more likely to do so than women.
A great proportion of the population also turns to water or tea right before bed, and a number drink caffeinated beverages (12 per cent cola, 9 per cent coffee and 1 per cent energy drinks). But beverages are not the only thing consumed prior to sleeping: 37 per cent snack on nuts or chips, while 32 per cent opt for candy or cookies.
Many use phones, watch TV in bed
Once in bed, 47 per cent of people occasionally use their phone, and one quarter of people report doing so on a frequent or daily basis. Women appear to be twice as likely as men to use social media at this time.
Watching television in bed is another popular activity, with 20 per cent of respondents stating that they do so every day.
Beyond this, many people also acknowledged reading, having sexual intercourse or taking a hot shower or bath right before bed.
Restless sleep is common
On average, it takes people 19 minutes to fall asleep. Most people wake up around twice during the night, regardless if it is a weeknight or weekend.
Snoring also appears to be an issue. 16 per cent of those surveyed said that they often snore. People with a higher body mass index (BMI) are more likely to snore on a regular basis. Moreover, one in 20 reported waking up short of breath, which can be an indicator of sleep apnea.
In an attempt to mediate sleep, almost one in 10 people rely on frequent use of sleeping pills. However, adjusting late-night habits and routines may go a long way in improving your sleep patterns and ensuring a good night’s rest.