Who’s getting the best sleep in China? Teachers and civil servants, survey says

The 2014 China Sleep Quality Index offers interesting insight into the sleeping habits of many Chinese professionals

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 March, 2014, 8:26pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 March, 2014, 9:19pm

Teachers and civil servants are getting the most sleep in China while professionals in the media industry are more likely to be bleary eyed in the morning, a new survey reveals.

According to the 2014 China Sleep Quality Index, a survey published by the Chinese Medical Doctor's Association, most mainlanders report that they are getting more sleep this year, although insomnia is still common in certain professions. 

The report, which surveyed over 8,000 participants from across China, asked its respondents to rank the quality of their nightly sleep out of a maximum 100 points.

On average, participants ranked their sleep level at 66.5, which is 2.2 points higher than the average ranking in 2013's China Sleep Quality Index.

More than 36.2 participants ranked their sleep levels below 60 and said that they usually tossed and turned at night. 

Teachers were the ones getting the most shut-eye, scoring an average of 62.6 points out of 100.

Civil servants ranked second with a sleep level of 62.5, while sales professionals came third with a ranking of 61.6.

Medical staff, startup owners, and advertisement personnel all scored low, with media professionals ranking the lowest with an average score of 56.5.

Sleep quality by occupation (from best to worst):

  • Teachers
  • Civil servants
  • Sales people
  • Finance industry professionals
  • Company executives
  • Blue-collar workers
  • White-collar workers
  • IT industry workers
  • Medical staff
  • Startup owners
  • Advertisement and public relations personnel
  • Media professionals

Analysis of the Sleep Quality Index by the Yangste Evening Post revealed several key factors keeping many Chinese awake at night.

Chief among these was a general "reluctance to go to sleep", particularly when computers and addictive social media networks like Sina Weibo and WeChat were always available for easy entertainment. 

"Young people always think that the day time is the time for work and only the evening is their own time," said Yuan Yonggui, a director of a sleep disorder clinic at Zhongda Hospital in Nanjing's Southeast University. "Because of this, they usually sleep late. It's worth noting that recently retired people have also taken up this habit."

Yuan added that in light of their new freedom, many retirees often found themselves excessively dependent on the television for entertainment - a habit which could potentially affect sleep patterns.

The director cited several female patients over the age of 50 who had developed sleep disorders after becoming obsessed with watching Korea dramas. 

"Work pressure, the children's life at school, family burdens and a busy everyday lifestyle can also all cause difficulty sleeping," Yuan said. 

Experts cited by the Yangtse Evening Post said that the ideal amount of sleep for young people was about seven to nine hours per night, while children would require anywhere from one to three hours more and elderly people anywhere from one to three hours less.