REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Class warfare over sleeping soundly

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by Newcastle Herald journalist Damon Cronshaw.

Class Act: A Newcastle researcher has delved into the links between sleep and class.

Class Act: A Newcastle researcher has delved into the links between sleep and class.

How did you sleep last night?

Hopefully like a log, rock or baby. Any of those three would be ideal.

If you haven't been sleeping so well, you might want to know about the work of Romany McGuffog.

Interestingly, she examined the links between sleep and social class.

She says previous research showed people from lower social classes - working class people, for example - generally have poorer physical and mental health.

A key reason for poor health is poor sleep.

Another reason is a dodgy sleep environment. If people have an uncomfortable bed, the obvious response is "get a new one".

But, as Romany points out, not everyone has spare cash to splash on a new bed.

Plus, some people live in noisy environments [think near a railway line]. Or, they might share a house with others who aren't so conscious of the need for sleep.

Romany's point is, if you want to find ways to improve sleep, social class should be considered.

Problem is, Australians are notoriously "anti-class".

That is, they like to think we live in an egalitarian society in which everyone's beds are equal.

Having stayed at some posh hotels, we know this to be a big fat lie. All beds are definitely not created equal.

Anyhow, it's a good idea to pay attention to your sleep, if the experience of Kelly O'Brien is anything to go by.

She recently did a 24-hour taekwondo marathon.

"Yep, yep, yep, yep, nope, nope, nope, nope" began to echo through the dojang at an ungodly hour.

The Sesame Street Yip-Yips.

The Sesame Street Yip-Yips.

This was the catchphrase of Sesame Street's freaky but funny martians, known as the Yip-Yips.

We reckon it's much safer if those Sesame Street dreams stay in the subconscious.

So, for your own good, make sure you get a good night's sleep. Now all we need to do is sort out Australia's class system.

Damon Cronshaw

Newcastle Herald journalist

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