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Wednesday, 12th October 2011 at 10:19 am

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Sleep the Key to Happiness: Survey

By Staff Reporter,

An extensive online survey has found that Australians who get less than seven hours sleep a night self-reported lower happiness levels.

Almost 60,000 Australians have signed up to Happily Healthy Project, measuring their health and happiness.

Australians who slept between seven and eight hours a night scored 62.4 out of 100 in happiness levels, while the 36 per cent of those surveyed who sleep less than seven hours a night scored 52.8 per cent happiness levels.

"Sleep deprivation has a huge impact on our happiness levels," says Dr Anthony Grant who devised the study.

He said those in the 35 to 44 age band are the least content, and also the most sleep deprived.

Those above 65 are the happiest segment of society.

Dr Grant describes sleep deprivation as an “unrecognised epidemic" in the first world.

He said those in their 30s and 40s are trying to juggle work, a social life and children.

"It's not unusual for middle-management upwards to be at work by 8am and then to put in a 12-hour day … and then we take work home with us on our laptops or smartphones,” he told AAP.

"The older you get the happier you get, with a few ups and downs along the way….. When you get to 60, hopefully the kids have left home, hopefully you've got fairly stable in your financial issues and you finally get some peace, get to enjoy your hobbies – and you get some sleep.”

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