Half of adults sleep less than eight hours

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About half of Chinese adults sleep less than eight hours every night, a new report said on Friday.

The report, released by the Chinese Sleep Research Society, said that last year Chinese adults slept an average 7.4 hours per night.

The report was based on a survey of 6,168 people aged 18 to 70 from July to November last year.

However, the report also found that 90 percent of the respondents said that their sleep quality is "OK" or "very good", with only 10 percent saying that their sleep quality was "not good" or "very bad".

People with lower level of education have less sleep and lower sleep quality, according to the report. Those with stronger academic backgrounds tended to sleep longer and better, but those who have earned master's or doctorates reported less, lower-quality sleep.

The report also showed a correlation between a person's income and the quality of their sleep.

People from families earning less than 3,000 yuan ($435) per month get the least amount of sleep and experience the worst sleep quality, the report showed, while those with mid-level incomes sleep longer and generally reported good-quality sleep.

For people making more than 10,000 yuan per month, their hours of sleep were less than those with mid-level incomes, but they reported a better quality of sleep.

The report also found that people who exercise regularly enjoy the best sleep quality, with 85 percent of them saying they have "very good" sleep quality. More than 80 percent said they can fall asleep in less than half an hour, and only 1.8 percent said they have trouble falling asleep.

University students sleep the longest, followed by white-collar workers, blue-collar workers and unemployed people.

However, university students usually stay up late, which is attributed to the use of electronic devices, over-thinking, academic burdens and their sleeping environments.

While the majority of university students acknowledge that good sleeping habits are conducive to good health, many say they have not made positive changes to their habits.

Gao Xuemei, deputy director-general of the Chinese Sleep Research Society, said sleep is important in stabilizing metabolism, emotion, behaviors and strengthening memory.

A healthy sleep is one that lasts a sufficient time, has good quality, is habitual and without sleep disorders, she said.

"It is very important for people's health. It is a necessity, not luxury," she said.

People who go without good sleep for a long time risk memory loss, anxiety, depression, anger, hair loss, weight gain, high blood pressure and cardiovascular damage, she added.

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