So, what worries the Australian Health Minister so much that he's asked a parliamentary committee to investigate sleep?
ABC radio spoke with Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman, who is the chairman of that committee. He discussed why the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt is seriously worried about sleep and why a parliamentary committee will be investigating it.
What Trent Zimmerman had to say resonates with us very well at Sleep Health Group:
“Well, I think that sleep problems are a growing and large problem in Australia...and we know that sleep is just so vital to our bodily functions, be it our mental health, be it our alertness, memory or our performance ability. So, it is a growing problem that we need to shine a light on”
“The inquiry is going to be examining issues over the next couple of months....so, it's whether we're actually getting that adequate amount of sleep, both because of sleep disorders, but also because of lifestyle decisions that we're making”.
Trent Zimmerman highlighted the fact that over the past few decades, Australia has focused on exercise and diet as two most common practices to preventing health problems.
It is now being recognised that SLEEP is third pillar to a healthy life.
He went on to say: “The third element, which I think really has been missing, is whether we're getting adequate sleep, because we do know, particularly amongst adolescents and children, that — but for everyone — that sleep is just so vital to memory function, to performance, and to mental wellbeing....there is good evidence that those are who are not getting adequate sleep are more prone to depression-like symptoms, and that's a serious concern”.
Check out this link for the full interview