We’re a relaxed, fun-loving populace, aren’t we? We’re outdoorsy and our communities are bustling with life; you’d think we’d have absolutely no problem falling asleep at night. Wrong. Very wrong.
A new study by IPG Mediabrands and the makers of Tylenol found that nearly 3.9 million people (or a quarter of Canada’s work force) have called in sick to catch up on sleep, and approximately 62 per cent of Canadians suffer from some sort of sleeping problem. And we thought people were calling in sick because they were hungover! OK, so some were hungover, but it turns out that most were just tired for various reasons, including children disrupting sleep, work stress and the most common reason: pain. Nearly half of respondents gave that as the cause of their lack of sleep.
The study surveyed 1,000 Canadians, asking them what was keeping them up at night. Pain topped the charts at 46 per cent, followed by uncomfortable room temperature (31 per cent) and work stress (29 per cent). Other notable reasons for sleeping problems included illness (27 per cent), their partner’s snoring (21 per cent — that’s substantial!), too much caffeine and indigestion or heartburn (tied at 18 per cent).
Canada’s most tired city is Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., with Saskatoon, Sask. and Vancouver, B.C. coming in second and third. The people of Canada’s largest city, Toronto, reported that they get the most sleep, and Victoria, B.C. and Edmonton, Alta. rounded out the bottom three.
It seems weird that Torontonians didn’t report impacted sleep, considering factors like traffic, noise and excessive light pollution.
“Surprisingly, but perhaps not to some, Toronto enjoys the best sleep in the country,” said Chris Herlihey, Vice-President of Research at IPG Mediabrands. “The cities topping the list have a higher percentage of kids living at home vs. Toronto, which has more singles compared to the rest of the country. No matter how you slice it, lack of sleep is a serious problem. Sleeplessness is impacting people physically and they’re looking to catch up on sleep whenever they can, even if it means calling in sick for some rest.”
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