Experts say a person needs eight hours of quality sleep daily Image Credit: Stock photo

Dubai: Nearly 90 per cent of UAE residents aren’t getting enough daily sleep, according to the findings of a recent survey by insurance firm Bupa Global.

The survey was conducted via YouGov’s online portal and included 1,180 male and 825 female respondents aged between 18 and 40 years

Only nine per cent of the respondents said they get “proper sleep ”which is anywhere between 8-10 hours”.

A staggering 76 per cent of the respondents said they get only 5-8 hours of sleep while 13 per cent said they get less than five hours. Women are more sleep deprived than men.

Karim Idilby, general manager at Bupa Global in Africa, India and the Middle East, blamed stress for the lack of quality slumber.

“We found that 80 per cent of the respondents check their emails before going to sleep. This, needless to say, results in disturbed sleep patterns,” he said. Dr Nahida Amin, family medicine consultant, King’s College Hospital London Medical and Surgical Centre in Abu Dhabi, said sleep is vital for good physical and mental health. “It’s the foundation of good health but there is no single reason why people are sleep deprived. It could be poor sleep hygiene, stress, ill-health or a combination of all these factors,” she said.

“The late night culture is also a contributing factor. In Dubai there are a lot of things to do even after midnight. The restaurants are open and the roads are crowded until the wee hours.” she said.

Dr Amin said a person needs eight hours of quality sleep daily. Sleep deprivation can take a heavy toll on one’s health. In the short term it leads to irritability, lack of concentration, memory loss and slow reflexes. Long-term, it can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

Losing 30 minutes of sleep on weekday nights can lead to an increased risk of obesity and developing Type 2 diabetes, said another doctor.

Dubai-based fitness trainer Jelena Petelinkar said people should avoid working out before going to bed. “Rigorous exercise just before bedtime isn’t advisable as it causes the blood to rush through the body making it more activeand increasing the chances of insomnia,” she said.

Sleep facts

1. People who don’t sleep well find it difficult to pay attention, or even recollect important information as memory recall falls.

2. Studies have linked lack of sleep with increased appetite and weight gain.

3. The body’s reaction time also increases, which means sleep deprived individuals are more susceptible to accidents.

4. Lack of sleep reduces pain tolerance and slows down the body’s natural recovery process.