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Chronic fatigue becoming more common amongst Finns

A recent survey indicates that a considerable amount of Finn’s suffer from long-term sleep deprivation.

Research indicates the daytime fatigues has become more common in recent years. Image: Yle

Over half of respondents experience constant, or nearly constant fatigue when waking up, reveals a survey conducted by Yle's Prisma Studio and researchers at the University of Helsinki. Over 10,000 people have participated in the online survey since the beginning of November.

Only five percent of participants said they always or almost always woke up feeling energized. One fourth reported feeling tired during the day every day, or almost every day.

Professor, sleep researcher and neurology specialist Markku Partinen finds the results alarming.

”Look at the big picture in Finland: we are constantly supposed to do better, beat the recession and add productivity. It won’t be easy if people are chronically tired,” Partinen says.

Professor Partinen finds the survey’s results credible, as previous research has proven that a third or a fourth of the population suffers from daytime fatigue.

Structural changes in society could be the culprit

”Feeling tired is a sign that the brain is not working in the best possible way, and that is reflected on both work and social life,” Partinen says.

Respondents slept an average of 6.5 hours a night. Partinen emphasizes this is too little, as adults should sleep an average of 7–8 hours a night.

”This indicates that a considerable amount of Finn’s suffer from long-term sleep deprivation.”

The results of the survey suggest fatigue and its symptoms have become more prevalent in recent years. Partinen believes this is due to structural changes in society.

”Those who work have to work long hours, and there is immense pressure to be more productive. We’re close to the limit of how much one person can take,” he says.

Professor Partinen hopes the survey’s results will be a kind of wake up call to many. He stresses sleep is very important, and it is vital for people to understand that the most common reason for grogginess is too little or too restless sleep.

 ”We should give sleep and sleeping all the honour it deserves,” Partinen sums.

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