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Sleeplessness costs Australia over $26 billion a year

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Four-in-10 Australians aren’t getting enough sleep and it’s costing the nation $26.2 billion a year, according to a new government report.

The Morrison government’s sleep health awareness inquiry has called for the issue to be prioritised.

Sleep physician Dr Maree Barnes told 3AW Breakfast that lack of sleep, and conditions like insomnia and sleep apnea, are “really serious problems.”

Dr Barnes said part of the problem is that many Australians are hesitant to seek help to improve their sleep.

She said healthcare providers don’t receive enough education on the issue.

“Most GPs spend between 2 and 5 hours in their whole medical course on sleep,” she said.

Dr Barnes praised the report’s recommendation that the government fund an upskilling program to educate healthcare providers on sleep treatment.

“Everybody needs a good night sleep and everybody can get a good night sleep, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to do it,” she said.