The Federal Government announces parliamentary inquiry

There are already more than 100 submissions into an inquiry initiated by the Federal Government about whether Australians are getting enough sleep.

Not getting enough sleep can have negative health impacts and even shorten lifespan, so as a result, the Government wants to focus on this element as much as diet and fitness as an indication for health problems.

Australia’s current sleep situation

One in five Australians report they are sleeping less than six hours each night, despite the recommendation of seven or eight.

Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman says that sleep problems are increasing across the nation and authorities are concerned.

“Sleep problems are a growing and large problem in Australia, and in fact, the research that we’ve seen indicates that something like four out of ten Australians are not getting adequate sleep on a regular basis,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“We know that sleep is just so vital to our bodily functions, be it our mental health, be it our alertness or our performance ability, so it is a growing problem that we need to shine a light on.”

Mr Zimmerman also said the inquiry would specifically look at people in occupations deemed most vulnerable, including shift workers.

“Sixteen per cent of Australians are shift workers and many of those are in professions, for example, occupational drivers, where they are making decisions which can have life-or-death impacts,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“We want to look at, effectively, what support and advice and education there is for those that are in the workforce that are having disrupted sleep because of the work that they’re expected to undertake.”

How you can improve sleep

According to the experts at House Call Doctor, sleep can be affected by a myriad of different elements, but there are a few simple steps to help get you that eight hours you need each night:

  • Limit screen time before bed
  • Avoid caffeine or heavy meals before bed
  • Try herbal tea or warm milk before bed.

If you are having difficulties falling asleep at night, contact your GP.