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China's rich struggle with sleep

2015-03-20 09:30 China Daily Web Editor: Si Huan

Chinese entrepreneurs have a poor quality of sleep-but they are getting a better night's rest than they did last year.

This is according to a report released by Forbes China that looks into the sleep quality and behaviors of some of China's richest businesspeople.

Forbes, together with Chinese mattress manufacturer DeRucci, unveiled the 2015 Chinese entrepreneurs' sleep report in Beijing on Wednesday. The report is based on a survey of more than 1,800 Chinese entrepreneurs from across the country, including those on the Forbes Billionaires List, to celebrate the World Sleep Day that falls on March 23.

It is the second time Forbes China and DeRucci have conducted such a survey. The first, also the first of its kind in China, went public in early 2014, and was based on surveys completed by about 1,000 Chinese entrepreneurs.

Both of the reports used an index of 100 to value sleep quality, setting 60 as the pass mark. This year, Chinese entrepreneurs scored 64.93, compared to 61.33 last year.

The average nightly sleep duration of Chinese entrepreneurs is six hours and 57 minutes, which narrowly fails the internationally recognized sleep time requirement of at least seven hours for adults, according to the survey.

About 70 percent of the respondents believe seven to eight hours of sleep in a night is most desirable, but only 50 percent of them think they get enough sleep.

About 73 percent suffer from sleep disorders, and many of them suffer from more than one sleep disorder, such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

About 37 percent said they find it difficult to fall into a deep sleep, and more than half are bothered by frequent dreams and waking up before they are ready. A total of 13 percent said they always feel fatigued when they wake up.

Psychological and physical well-being suffer when sleep suffers, and a good night's sleep is important to daytime functioning and family intimacy, the report shows.

Nearly 60 percent of the respondents said when they sleep poorly, they tend to become easily irritated, and 90 percent admitted that bad sleep impairs family relationships, the report said.

Entrepreneurs from traditional industries such as textiles and logistics, sleep better than new and service industries including IT, the report said.

"What entrepreneurs pursue is happiness in life, rather than simply wealth. They should care more about sleep and physical well-being than other things such as luxuries or social desires," says Zhou Jian'gong, editor-in-chief of Forbes China.

"Forbes China has conducted a series of surveys centering on life-style and health, and the sleep report hopes to examine the relationship between wealth and sleep and to raise entrepreneurs' awareness on importance of good sleep that they often take for granted."

Chinese entrepreneurs have strong time management skills, and despite their poor sleep patterns, they often rise on time to begin their day, according to the survey.

They have poor sleep because they are under great pressure and often work at night, despite more than 50 percent using technology and devices to monitor sleep, such as smartphone apps and smart bracelets, and are eager to improve their sleep, concludes Xie Ke, executive editor with the life division of Forbes China.

Xie suggests entrepreneurs get up and go to bed early, take a nap at noon, pay attention to bedding, light and other environment factors and exercise to improve sleep.

Pan Shiyi, chairman of real estate developer SOHO China, appeared at the report release event, saying he used to be a heavy snorer and suffered from sleep apnea, until he improved his exercise regime.

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