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Rugby World Cup — a big yawn for 2/3rds of NZers

News Release
3 November 1999

Rugby World Cup — a big yawn for
two thirds of New Zealanders

It's not only our emotional barometer that has suffered with the defeat of the All Blacks on Monday. According to current research it is evident our sleep patterns have been affected as well.

The research , commissioned by Dunlop Sleepmaker, shows about 60 per cent of New Zealanders aged 18 and over watched at least one World Cup match live.

Remarkably, 50 per cent of females in the sample had watched at least one game compared to 70 per cent of males.

It also tells us that, of those who got up or stayed up to watch a match live, a third did not sleep as well either before or after the game. But interestingly, the older generations tended to sleep better than the young ones.

Other sleepy World Cup facts are:

• overall, nearly a third of the sample who watched a game did not sleep as well as normal;
• 35 per cent of males and 30 per cent of females who watched a game did not sleep as well;
• in the 18 to 24 age group, nearly 20 per cent said they were less productive and 14 per cent were less able to concentrate at work;
• 40 per cent more males than females watched at least one Rugby World Cup match live; and,
• we’re pretty good at getting up to watch Rugby World Cup — 1.65 million New Zealanders aged 18 and over watched at least one match live.

The survey comprised 523 telephone interviews undertaken by Market Pulse in the week before the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup.

Getting up in the early hours to watch a game of rugby had almost no effect on our dream patterns — perhaps the dreams became nightmares on Monday.

Ironically, the general manager of the company that commissioned the sleep study is also an international rugby referee. Glenn Wahlstrom, who has adjudicated in more than 100 first class rugby matches, maintains quality of sleep is just as important as the quantity of sleep.

And if you like dreaming, you'd better learn to sleep well. According to Fiona Johnston, the author of a book called Getting a Good Night's Sleep, if you sleep better you dream better.

The book lists the seven habits of highly effective sleepers.

These are:
• choose to let go of your worries when you’re in the bedroom
• limit toxin intake e.g. alcohol, nicotine and caffeine
• work towards life fulfillment and positive direction
• relax
• don't think about sleep
• maintain good self esteem, and
• address unresolved issues.

"Good sleep is important for physical and mental health and dream sleep is most important for good mental health,” Ms Johnston says. “Most of the last four hours of a sleep is our dream sleep and this is important in the architecture of a full sleep.”

But the last word on catching up with sleep after the Rugby World Cup belongs to referee Wahlstrom.

"The good news is you can resolve your sleep problems," he says. “A weekend lie-in can help and plainly a good bed is essential. But spare a thought for the All Blacks — I wonder how well they’re sleeping right now."

ends

Issued by 141 Palace Plus for Dunlop Bedding

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