CHINA Podcast: Story in the Story (3/25/2019 Mon.)


Podcast: Story in the Story (3/25/2019 Mon.)

People's Daily app

00:53, March 25, 2019


From the People's Daily app.

And this is Story in the Story.

Chinese adults are among the longest sleepers in the world, with an average of 7.1 hours of sleep on weeknights and 8.5 hours of sleep on weekend nights, according to a global survey.

Philips and KJT Group released the analysis in conjunction with World Sleep Day, which falls on March 21st each year. The report looks at the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors surrounding sleep among 11,006 adults aged 18 and older in 12 different countries: the US, France, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Singapore, South Korea, Australia and the Netherlands.

According to the survey, adults globally only sleep an average of 6.8 hours per night during the week and 7.8 hours per weekend night.

Among the 12 surveyed countries, average hours of sleep on weeknights range from 6.3 to 7.2. China ranks second with 7.1, with Japan and Singapore sleeping the shortest.

Today’s Story in the Story looks at the sleeping habits of different generations of Chinese and how their lives are affected by how much sleep they get.


Cover of the report "The global pursuit of better sleep health" jointly published by Philips and KJT Group, March 14, 2019. (Photo: Philips)

Research by the Chinese Sleep Research Society shows Chinese teens are generally lacking sleep.

Among a survey of 6 to 17 years old, over 60% in China sleep less than 8 hours a day, the minimum sleeping time to ensure health for such a group.

Top causes are heavy school work loads and popularization of the use of electronic products, the report said, adding that 8.4 percent of the group are still busy with homework after 11:00 p.m. from Monday to Thursday.

According to the report, sleep environment and sleep habits of their parents are also major factors.

The duration of sleep among different age groups is significant. Among adolescents between 13 and 17, 81.2% sleep less than 8 hours, compared with 32.2% of children between the ages of 6 and 12.

Lack of self-discipline is another reason for the young people’s lack of Zs. Only 5 percent of those surveyed reported having regular life schedules.

A separate survey by the Society showed that up to 91 percent of people said they could not relax after going to bed, admitting that pressures from work usually undermine their sleep quality. Most of the respondents said they would choose to sacrifice sleep when bed time clashed with work deadlines.

Another survey by the Chinese Medical Doctor Association (CMDA) found most of the post-90s generation in China are not getting enough sleep.

Sixty percent of people born after 1990 are reportedly suffering from insufficient sleep, with an average sleeping time of 7.5 hours, below a proposed healthy sleeping time of around eight hours.

With regard to sleep patterns, the survey found that 31.1 percent of its millennial respondents are sticking to a habit of getting up and sleeping late. Around 30.9 percent sleep late but get up early and 28.2 percent naturally wake up in the morning regardless of bed time. However, only 17.5 percent of people keep early hours, a concept practiced by a lot of Chinese people.

Programmers have particularly become the victims of poor sleep due to their work, accounting for 16 percent of the insomnia population, followed by blue collar workers and salespersons. The poor sleep results from pressures from their work, life, surroundings and personal habits.


(Photo: CGTN)

The survey went into details about sleep quality of people in different places across the country. People living in the country’s tier-one cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, sleep the least each day, with an average of less than seven hours.

People in Shanghai have the earliest time of sleep while Shenzhen has the latest. Beijing residents wake up earlier than people in any other parts of the country, with people in the southern city of Zhuhai getting up latest.

Han Fang, chairman of China Sleep Research Society, estimated that there are about five to six thousand people suffering sleep disorders and only two percent of them visited a doctor for medical intervention.

Professionals from China Sleep Research Society and the Sleep Medical Commission suggest the best thing people can do is make full use of time in the morning and do exercise in the afternoon or at night.

Zhu Qingwen, a professor at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, sees it a little differently.

"The best way to stay healthy is to avoid staying up late, not drinking plenty of goji tea after staying up barhopping," he said.

"When people damage their health, no matter how hard they try to make up for it, the damage already exists. The best way to stay healthy is to give up their bad habits.”

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Brian Lowe, Lance Crayon and Da Hang. Music by: Text from China Plus, China Daily, CGTN)

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