Michael Johnson, CEO of Rhinomed, expands on the findings of the 2022 Annual Global Sleep and Snoring Report conducted in February 2022, which found that people are not getting nearly as much sleep as they should.
The COVID-19 pandemic may play a role in why so many people are not getting enough sleep or enough good-quality sleep, said Michael Johnson, CEO of Rhinomed, at SLEEP 2022.
Can you elaborate on the findings of the 2022 Sleep and Snoring Report, which found that people are not getting nearly enough sleep?
We did the study this year, so this is probably one of the only studies that we’re aware of that’s been conducted globally, post COVID-19 in 2022. Six-thousand participants—2000 in the UK, 2000 in the US, 2000 in Australia—so a valid sample in that regards. We were surprised to see that the numbers were as low as they were. In the US it was as low as 5.8 hours a night, which is way below the anticipated 7 and a half to 8 and a half hours a night. That's probably reflective of a lot of things, including, we suspect, just the impact of COVID-19 on people's stress levels.
Why was the US average so much lower?
It’ll be interesting over time, as we do this study again—and we anticipate doing it annually so people can look forward to seeing it over the next couple of years—whether that figure stays the same and whether it’s really reflective of what’s happening with COVID-19, or whether it’s actually a broader response to changes in society and so on. But it is concerning. You know, 5.8 hours a night is really way below [the recommended amount]. It could be reflective of also the amount of time people spending on social media, etc, as well. It's also reflective of the Northern Hemisphere, especially with the UK and the US numbers, of winter as well. We think there’s a possible seasonality there.
Why did so many participants also report low sleep quality, and what can people do to improve this?
That was very surprising. We saw 36% of people were not happy with the quality of sleep, so we know already the quantity was low. The fact that almost a third are also arguing that their quality of sleep is poor is really concerning. We sort of think there’s a real argument, and what was interesting about it is that 96% of people actually know that they should want better sleep and they want to get it. Three-quarters of the people we sampled actually have already tried to look for solutions. So, really, it’s a massive unmet need; it’s a big clinically unmet need. It’s also just a general consumer health unmet need. And it’s really a siren call, a clarion call for better solutions. We’ve had a lot of solutions out there in the forms of CPAP [continuous positive airway pressure] for sleep apnea; melatonin being legalized and suddenly appearing on the shelves in large numbers is obviously helping, a lot of people have tried melatonin. But I think it’s a real clarion call for better solutions and some real well-needed innovation.