1 in 10 people in Switzerland suffer from a lack of sleep
A new report by the Tages-Anzeiger has revealed that around 1 in 10 people in Switzerland do not have a good night's sleep on a regular basis. The newspaper found that sleep deprivation is one of the most common conditions in the alpine nation and puts a heavy strain on the economy and healthcare system.
Up to 700.000 people in Switzerland suffer from sleeping disorders
According to Albrecht Vorster, a sleep researcher from Bern, "30 percent of the population are affected by a sleep disorder that [should] require treatment." The doctor told the Tages-Anzeiger that the most common conditions are sleep apnea - when someone stops breathing during sleep between 15 and 30 times an hour - and insomnia. He estimated that around one in 10 - 700.000 people - do not sleep through the night on a regular basis.
He noted that a lack of sleep can have real-world consequences for sufferers, ranging from reduced memory to lack of concentration. It can even lead to more serious conditions "including strokes and heart attacks, metabolic consequences such as obesity or diabetes, immune deficiencies and an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's," noted neurologist Philipp Valko.
Lack of sleep costs the Swiss state and economy millions, experts claims
SUVA representative Inglina Keller told the newspaper that the risk of road accidents and medical emergencies increases by 50 percent if the victim is tired. “The number of tripping and falling accidents increases fivefold for people with sleep problems,” she noted.
These factors also have a knock-on effect on the economy, with the newspaper noting that 35.900 claims for accident and occupational disease insurance are attributed to sleep problems, costing the state 290 million francs a year. Vorster estimated that the consequences of “bad sleep amount to 1 to 3 percent [loss] of gross domestic product…That's around 8 billion francs a year in Switzerland.”
In all, the newspaper called for the Swiss healthcare system to improve and expand treatment facilities for sleeping disorders, noting that there is currently a two to three month waiting list for sleep therapy in Basel, with some areas not even possessing the staff or the means to treat sleeping disorders. They concluded that anyone who does not sleep well for at least three nights a week for one month should see their doctor.