Thousands report economic pressures impacting a good night’s sleep, Philips 10-country survey reveals

March 12, 2015

Stress about work and finances ranked higher than technology as sleep disrupter in 8,000-person survey; More than 80 percent of respondents see opportunity to improve sleep     


Andover, MA Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today released “Sleep: A Global Perspective,” the first in a series of reports highlighting sleep trends and habits collected from a survey of nearly 8,000 people across 10 countries. Released in support of the World Association of Sleep Medicine’s annual World Sleep Day, the report revealed that worry about work, finances and the economy was the leading factor impacting sleep. In addition, while sleep is recognized globally as important to health and well-being, most people are not taking any steps to improve it.  

“Over the past few years, many surveys have focused on the negative impact that technology and mobile devices can have on sleep, but our report confirmed that the global factors impacting people’s sleep are much more varied and complex,” said Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, M.D., Chief Medical Liaison, Philips. “And, while it’s refreshing to see people around the world equally valuing sleep as critical to their overall health, there’s clearly more that people can be doing to ensure they’re on a path to a better night’s sleep.”

People want more sleep, but don’t know how to get it
Of the 7,817 people surveyed in the United States, Brazil, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany, China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, 96 percent said sleep is valuable to them. At the same time, 57 percent of respondents admitted that while their sleep could be better, they haven’t taken action to improve it. And, only 17 percent consistently sleep through the night, with 22 percent of respondents noting they wake up before they would like five to seven nights a week.   

In addition, six percent of respondents reported having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  This is consistent with other reports indicating that more than 100 million people globally suffer from this disorder. Because an estimated 80 percent of patients with OSA remain undiagnosed, a substantial number of people may benefit from proper screening, diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.


The economy’s impact on sleep
Among a list of 12 different factors influencing overall health and well-being – including family, work, school, social life and intimacy with a partner – sleep ranked the highest, at 87 percent. But right behind it at 84 percent was money/financial security. Additionally, among a list of 13 factors keeping people up at night, respondents selected work (25%) and financial/economic issues (28%) as their most common sleep disruptors. While 67 percent of people around the world sleep with a mobile phone within reach, only 21 percent said technology was a sleep disruptor.

“Our report indicates how psychological factors can impact sleep, and how those factors can change depending on the times in which we live,” said Dr. Mark Aloia, Senior Director of Global Clinical Research, Philips. “Combating stress is critical to a good night’s sleep, but the toughest part for people is often just getting motivated to make changes. These data further demonstrate that sleep needs to be viewed and treated holistically, with both technology and lifestyle solutions that work together to promote better health.”

Of the countries most worried about work, South Korea (43%), Brazil (33%) and China (32%) ranked the highest. Of those most worried about economic/financial issues, Brazil (39%), Germany (31%) and the U.S. (31%) topped the list. Download the full “Sleep: A Global Perspective” report and supporting infographics at

Philips issues global challenge to improve sleep
The first step to better rest is investigating your risk of an underlying sleep disorder. A significant percentage of the global population is estimated to suffer from disrupted sleep, and sleep apnea is one of the most common of sleep disorders that is often undiagnosed.  Find out if you may be at risk by taking the sleep apnea symptoms quiz.

In addition to addressing potential sleep disorders, it is important to embrace behaviors that can improve your sleep. Life’s stressors can keep anyone up at night, but small changes can offset stress triggers and prepare your body for the rest it needs. Throughout the week leading up to World Sleep Day, March 9-13, Philips issued a global five-day #BeWellSleepWell challenge to empower people to take back control of their sleep and overall health. Philips encouraged people to make one small lifestyle change each day for five days to improve their sleep and well-being.

See how your sleep compares to those around the world and learn tips for getting better rest by following the #BeWellSleepWell conversation on Twitter: @PhilipsHealth and @PhilipsResp, and Facebook: Philips Health and Philips Respironics.


For further information, please contact:

Kathy O’Reilly
Tel: +1 978-659-2638
Mobile: +1 978-221-8919
Twitter: @kathyoreilly

Alicia Cafardi


About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2014 sales of EUR 21.4 billion and employs approximately 105,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at