Eight out of 10 young adults in Spain suffer from sleep problems

by Lorraine Williamson
sleep problems

For good health, sleep is just as important as diet and exercise. But sleep is often neglected in favour of other activities. This is confirmed by the results of a study. It shows that 61% of young Spaniards admit to having sleep problems. And sleep hours less in order to have more time for free time or other tasks.

Some 33% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 in Spain do not get enough sleep, less than seven hours, according to the research carried out by Fundación MAPFRE. The study was carried out by specialists from the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN) and the Spanish Society of Sleep (SES). It shows that eight out of ten young Spaniards have some symptom of insomnia.

The survey was conducted in 2023 among 3,405 residents of Spain, randomly selected and split by gender, age group and autonomous community (around 200 interviews in each autonomous community). The vast majority of those surveyed consider sleep to be an important factor for health. Yet only 24% admit to sleeping well and sufficiently.

Regions where sleep problems are greatest

Insufficient sleep, which accounts for 33% of the sample analysed, is especially prevalent in the 30-34 age group. In the autonomous communities, La Rioja, the Balearic Islands, Valencia, Castile-La Mancha, Asturias and the Canary Islands are sleep problems most common.

Also read: Working late in restaurants can cause mental health problems

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Causes and means

83% of those surveyed acknowledged using electronic devices with screens in bed before falling asleep. On average, they do so for 48.6 minutes.

Regarding the use of substances to fall asleep, 15% of respondents indicated that they use over-the-counter remedies. Usually, they do so less than once a week. Furthermore, 9% report taking prescription drugs on a weekly basis.

Of those surveyed, 39% said they drink alcohol once a month. Of these, 10% said they drank at night to be able to sleep. In addition, 8% reported using cannabis at least once a month, while 63% used it to sleep. In contrast, 6% reported using drugs such as cocaine, 63% of which were to stay awake.

Traffic accidents due to sleep problems

The report shows that 15% have had a traffic accident due to sleep deprivation, drowsiness (8%) or inattention (7%). Men, young people between the ages of 18 and 23 and people with symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea cause the most accidents, according to the study.

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