South Africans are not good at sleeping!

The results are in from the world’s biggest Sleep Census, and for the first time ever we have information specifically about South Africans. 11 381 people from five countries participated in the Sealy Sleep Census, with South Africans making up 24% of the responses.

Sadly, the numbers show that South Africans are not sleeping well at all:
• 81% struggle to get to sleep
• 30% of South Africans take over 30 minutes to fall asleep
• 84% struggle to stay asleep
• 25% suffer from insomnia at least 3 nights a week!

What is even more worrying is that only 1 in 5 of us get a full 8 hours of sleep each night! That means 80% of our population is sleep deprived and explains why 85% of South Africans feel their personal life could benefit from a better nights sleep.

What appears to be getting in the way?

Screen time is the main offender
– 54% have partners who take a tablet/phone to bed and
– 46% watch TV in bed

Find out how to avoid screen time in this blog: ‘Why Less is more’

Snoring is another concern
– 60% of South Africans report snoring frequently or some of the time.
– This would disrupt their sleep as well as their partner’s sleep.

What can you do to get a better night’s sleep?

– Make your bedroom a screen-free zone
– Ensure your mattress provides the support that you need
– Try to establish a regular bedtime and wake schedule

To get started, learn how to create the ideal sleep environment and when that’s done, try to catch up on lost sleep! Of course, if it’s time to buy a new bed, use our handy mattress comparison tool to help you decide which bed is best for you!

Click here to see the full Sealy Sleep Census infographic.

Are tonsils to blame for my child’s snoring?

Snoring is a sleep destroyer- for the snorer as well as those sleeping (or trying to sleep) nearby. Kids that snore are given the medical label of ‘Obstructive Sleep Apnea’ or ‘Sleep Disordered Breathing’. Whatever, you call it, these kids are not sleeping well and a sleep-deprived kid is likely to be a grumpy, sickly, miserable kid, prone to tears and skipping school. They are definitely not living their best life.

Enlarged tonsils and adenoids is the number one cause of snoring and sleep disruption in children. Tonsils and adenoids are clusters of lymphoid tissue that help to provide immunity for young children. The tonsils are found at the back of the throat, whilst the adenoids are found at the back of the nose. If the tonsils become too large, they will block the flow of air through the nose and mouth.

If this is found to be the case, then the first line of defense against snoring (recommended by the American Academy of Paediatrics) will be surgical removal of both the tonsils and adenoids under general anaesthesia (1) as the effectiveness of this procedure to reduce snoring and reduce excessive daytime sleepiness has been confirmed in many studies (2).

However, surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids is not only linked to better sleep but also better behavior. Unlike sleep-deprived adults who slow down, sleep-deprived kids become hyperactive and wired and struggle to focus on one activity. This can lead to snorers being incorrectly labeled as having ADHD and underperforming at school.
Interestingly, in another study (3), children with an ADHD diagnosis who underwent surgery to remove their tonsils and adenoids, no longer fit the description of this diagnosis one year later.

Bottom line: If your kid is snoring, they need intervention to sleep better.

Read more:

Are you a grown up snorer? 30% of women snore and need medical intervention

Are you concerned that your weight may be causing you to snore?

1. Treatment Outcomes of Adenotonsillectomy for Children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Prospective Longitudinal Study
Yu-Shu Huang, MD
Christian Guilleminault, DM, MD, DBiol
Li-Ang Lee, MD
Cheng-Hui Lin, MD
Fan-Ming Hwang, PhD
2. Sleepiness in children with obstructive sleep apnea improved on two commonly used sleepiness questionnaires following adenotonsillectomy treatment. Effect of Adenotonsillectomy on Parent-Reported Sleepiness in Children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Shalini Paruthi, MD, Paula Buchanan, PhD, Jia Weng, MS, Ronald D. Chervin, MD, MS, Ronald B. Mitchell, MD …
3. Effect of adenotonsillectomy on nocturnal hypoxaemia, sleep disturbance, and symptoms in snoring children
J.R. Stradling. Author links open the author workspace. MDOpens the author workspacea. Numbers and letters correspond to the affiliation list. Click to expose these in author workspaceG. Thomas. Author links open the author workspace. RSCNa. Numbers and letters correspond to the affiliation list. Click to expose these in author workspaceA.R.H. Warley. Author links open the author workspace. MDa. Numbers and letters correspond to the affiliation list. Click to expose these in author workspaceP. Williams. Author links open the author workspace. BSca. Numbers and letters correspond to the affiliation list. Click to expose these in author workspaceA. Freeland. Author links open the author workspace. FRCSb