The average age of respondents was 40 years for men

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The average age of respondents was 40 years for men and 37 for women. Average sleep scores were calculated for each person based upon the answers that people gave to the survey, with a higher score representing better sleep quality (0% = very poor, 100% = excellent). The results showed that men had better sleep quality than women; the average sleep score was 61% for men and 57% for women. Unsurprisingly, sleep was related to health; people who rated their physical health as ‘poor’ had an average sleep score of 47%, significantly worse sleep than people who rated their health as ‘good’ (63%). The average sleep score tended to decrease with age, though there was some inconsistency in the relationship between age and sleep (see Figure 3). Other data from the survey showed that insomnia had a negative effect on people’s mood, energy, concentration, personal relationships, ability to stay awake during the day, and ability to carry out daily tasks (Figure 5). In comparison to good sleepers, over four times as many respondents with insomnia reported relationship difficulties. The ability to maintain good relationships with friends, family and partners is naturally important to an individual’s personal happiness, affecting their mood and, in the longer term, their susceptibility to depression. More than 80% of respondents with insomnia said they regularly experienced low mood. This is more than three times the figure for good sleepers. Sustained low mood can lead to depression. Over 45% of respondents with insomnia had difficulty staying awake during daylight hours, compared to just over 10% of good sleepers. Although sleepiness is to be expected in people with insomnia, it may encourage the person to keep an irregular sleep pattern. This in turn upsets the circadian rhythm and can make the insomnia worse. Figure 4 Duration of insomnia (N=6708) Duration 0-3 Mnths 3-6 Mnths 1-2 Yrs 2 -5 Yrs 6-10 Yrs >-11 Yrs 6-12 Mnths 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Percentage Figure 3 Chart of average sleep score by age (N=6708) Age Group 10 0 20 30 40 50 60 16-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61+ Average Sleep Score (Percent) People with Insomnia Good Sleepers 10 0 20 30 40 50 60 100 90 80 70 Mood Energy Relationships Staying Awake Concentration Getting Things Done Aspects of Daily Life Percentage Figure 5 Negative impact of poor sleep on daily life. (N=5328) Some caution should be used when discussing the results of this survey, since those who responded were more likely to have taken an interest in their own sleep, possibly because they had a problem with sleeping. The sample therefore cannot be truly representative of the UK population. Only 38% of survey respondents (2522 people) were classified as ‘good sleepers’, whilst 36% were classified as possibly having chronic insomnia (2414 people). Insomnia was slightly more common in women (37%) than in men (32%), and 79% of those who had insomnia reported having it for at least two years. Other estimates of insomnia have put the total figure at around 30% of adults, although rates depend upon the criteria used to define it 45 . Of the people reporting insomnia in the survey, over 30% have
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