60% of Irish people not getting enough sleep

More than six out of 10 people in Ireland are not getting enough sleep. Seven hours sleep is recommended but 64% of adults get less, and 22% are not going to bed until after midnight on weekdays.

The study, conducted for Wellman/Wellwoman nutritional supplements, says sleep deprivation affects memory, ability to lose weight, and energy levels.

It also emerged from the research only 6% of adults believe they have high energy levels, with half reporting reporting poor energy levels.

Some 56% of men believe they have good energy levels compared to 46% of women.

Exercise is not high on the agenda for most adults. Over half (51%) do not exercise or play a sport regularly.

International athletes, siblings Thomas and Jessie Barr from Dunmore East, Co Waterford were at the launch.

They are busy preparing for the Olympics and European championships.

Their parents, they said, wanted them to be involved in sport when they were growing up.

Thomas, Irish senior record holder for the 400m hurdles, said that exercise boosted energy levels.

“When you’re feeling a bit tired, the last thing you want to do is exercise but it has been scientifically proven that even 20 minutes of relatively easy activity three times a week can boost your energy levels and leave you feeling less fatigued,” he said.

The research shows walking is the most popular activity, with 66% saying it was their main form of exercise.

For fewer than a quarter (23%), running topped their exercise list, 16% said it was lifting weights, abd 12% attended gym classes.

More women (73%) than men (57%) walk to exercise, while more men (18%) than women (4%) took part in a team sport.

Diet, meanwhile, affects energy. One in five (21%) managed to daily consume the recommend five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, while 16% said they never achieve the target.

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