Canadian adults are deprived in the bedroom - new survey

Working Canadians average less than eight hours of sleep each night, are tired and unproductive on the job

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - A new Canadian survey from Breathe Right® Nasal Strips reveals ninety per cent of adults have experienced a poor night's sleep1, and nearly 40 per cent of survey respondents report they generally do not get a good night's sleep2. Adults ages 35-64, typically in the prime of their careers, are most likely to average less than six hours of sleep per night3. The result is a tired, unmotivated, unproductive workforce that is willing to give up evening entertainment, sex, vacations days - and even a raise - just to get a good night's sleep4.

"The survey confirms lack of sleep is an epidemic across the country, and many people are willing to give up some significant quality of life activities for just a few more hours of rest each night," says Bryce Wylde, alternative health expert. "It is alarming that so many people are struggling with sleep, and yet it is one of the most important, basic human needs for maintaining overall health and wellbeing, and ensuring we are mentally fit to be productive and effective at work."

A strong majority of adults in every region of Canada reported that they have experienced poor sleep quality. Residents of Atlantic Canada were most likely to report poor sleep quality, with 97 per cent5. Those who live in Alberta were least likely to report poor sleep quality, and yet 83 per cent of survey respondents in this province still acknowledged ever having experienced a poor night's sleep6. Nationally, women (92 per cent) were more likely than men (88 per cent) to experience a poor night's sleep.

In addition to poor quality sleep, Canadian adults are generally not sleeping enough. Sixty-nine per cent of adults get between six and eight hours of sleep per night, and 21 per cent get less than six hours per night7. Albertans are most likely to sleep less than six hours per night, and least likely to get six to eight hours8. Manitoba/Saskatchewan residents are least likely to sleep less than six hours per night, and most likely to sleep six to eight hours9.

A poor night's sleep leaves the majority of adults feeling tired, unmotivated, and irritable the next day, as well as less productive at work or school10. Nearly a quarter of adults report being late for work or school, and 10 per cent admitted missing work or school altogether, due to a poor night's sleep11. Men and women both experienced the impacts of inadequate sleep:

  • Men (60 per cent) and women (61 per cent) were equally likely to be less productive at work
  • Men (26 per cent) are more likely than women (18 per cent) to be late for work/school
  • Men (13 per cent) are more likely than women (8 per cent) to miss work/school
  • Women ( 56 per cent) are more likely than men (48 per cent) to feel unmotivated
  • Women (40 per cent) are more likely than men (35 per cent) to be unable to concentrate

"The combination of poor quality sleep and reduction in length of sleep is a concerning trend, and will certainly have negative effects on employees' ability to be productive at work," says Sophie Lamarche, executive and management coach. "I often counsel my clients on ways to be more productive and efficient during their time in the office, and it starts with being properly rested. It is important to determine the reasons for poor sleep, identify ways to improve your sleep, and then make sleep a priority on an on-going basis."

In order to gain valuable sleep time, Canadians are willing to make concessions and give up some other activities. The most common activities that we would trade for a good night's sleep include an episode of a favourite program (60 per cent), a night out on the town (57 per cent), a free meal (48 per cent), sex (35 per cent), a vacation day (32 per cent), and a raise (22 per cent)12. Among the provinces, Alberta was most likely to give up sex and Ontario was least likely13. Quebec residents were most likely to give up a vacation day and a raise, British Columbia residents were least likely to give up either14.

The survey also examined the impact of nighttime nasal congestion on the quality of sleep. Almost one-third of adults surveyed experience nasal congestion at least once a month15. About three-quarters of them experience congestion at night, and report it is somewhat (37 per cent) or highly (20 per cent) bothersome16. Breathe Right Nasal Strips are clinically proven to improve airflow in the nasal passageways, helping to relieve congestion and improve breathing, which helps improve sleep quality.

Methodology. This news release presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among a national random sample of 1,002 adults comprising 502 males and 500 females 18 years of age and older, living in Canada. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 3.10%, 19 times out of 20. Interviewing for this Research House National Telephone Omnibus Survey was completed during the period: August 14 - 19, 2013.

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest over-the-counter consumer healthcare products companies. Its well-known brands include the leading oral healthcare products, Sensodyne®, ProNamel® and Aquafresh®, denture care products Polident® and PoliGrip®, Spectro® skincare products as well as many medicine cabinet staples -- Abreva®, Breathe Right®, and TUMS® -- which are trademarks owned by and/or licensed to GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies.

GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit

1 Weinman Schnee Morais Inc. Canada Sleep & Nighttime Nasal Congestion OmniTel. August 2013. Sponsored by Breathe Right Nasal Strips®.
16 IBID 

SOURCE: GlaxoSmithKline Inc.

For further information:

Media Relations: 
GSK Consumer Healthcare
Rachel Jaikaran
(905) 814-3695

Argyle Communications
Kerry Collings
(416) 968-7311 ext. 253

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