Japan Data

No Sleep for Japan? Survey Reveals Half of Population May Have Insomnia


A bedding manufacturer’s survey conducted on 10,000 people across Japan has revealed that 49.3% of respondents are most likely suffering from insomnia. In particular, many in their thirties and forties answered that they do not get enough sleep. 

“Even if I switch the light out and lie on the futon, I can’t sleep". “I suddenly get extremely tired while at work, probably because I can’t sleep at night.” A surprisingly large number of people have concerns about sleep. The recent results of a survey conducted by the bedding manufacturer Nishikawa Sangyō reveal that half of the Japanese population may be suffering from insomnia.

The nationwide survey, conducted in July 2018, interviewed 10,000 men and women aged between 18 and 79. Based on the Athens Insomnia Scale, an international standard for determining insomnia, respondents answered eight questions, including how easily they fell asleep, how often they woke during the night, and how sleepy they felt during the day. A tally of the scores showed that 49.3% of people were suspected of suffering from insomnia and 18.2% had some sleep issues. Going by age, people in their twenties were most likely to have insomnia and a high ratio of those in their thirties to fifties was also suspected to have serious sleep issues.

In response to being asked if they got enough sleep, there were huge discrepancies in the answers depending on the respondent’s age. While a remarkably high number of people in their sixties and seventies felt they got enough sleep, less than 30% of people in other age brackets answered that it was sufficient. A significant ratio of those in their thirties and forties answered that they either did not have enough sleep at all or could not sleep, indicating dissatisfaction with the amount of sleep they are getting.

The average sleeping time for those who answered ”not sufficient at all“ was 5 hours 46 minutes, while the average for those answering ”sufficient” was 7 hours 50 minutes, a discrepancy of more than two hours.

When asked about the connection between feeling tired and the quality of sleep (sound sleep, waking feeling refreshed), 46.1% responded that after a physically tiring day, they either did not feel very satisfied or were not satisfied at all with their sleep. This rose to 61.1% for those who had had a mentally exhausting day, indicating that mental fatigue has a more negative effect on sleep.

The white paper also highlights that a decline in the quality of sleep causes an increase in feelings of frustration and anxiety, and people become more susceptible to depression. This creates more emotional fatigue, leading to a vicious cycle. It reveals the importance of relaxing both body and mind before going to sleep.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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