Young adults losing sleep over jobs, marriage

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Young adults losing sleep over jobs, marriage

Jeong, a 25-year old female job hunter, hasn’t had a deep sleep since she graduated from college last year.

“I’m looking for a job and stressed because things aren’t going the way I pictured,” Jeong said. “And now I’m suffering from sleep deprivation.”

Last week, Jeong was diagnosed with depression and insomnia and is being treated at a local hospital.

Millions of young Koreans share Jeong’s plight. According to the sleep study center at the Catholic University of Korea, around 4.5 million Koreans aged 15 and over suffer from insomnia at least three times a week.

In a survey of 2,357 Koreans aged over 15, from 2008 to 2009, the university found that 9.7 percent of respondents between the ages of 25 and 34 say they wake up often during the night. That figure is higher than for respondents aged 35 to 44 (5.5 percent) and 45 to 52 years old (8.1 percent). According to Dr. Hong Seung-chul, who led the study, people between the ages of 25 and 34 are starting their social lives and face stress when they look for a job or someone to marry.

The main causes of insomnia are stress, snoring and obesity.

The center said insomnia can be categorized into four types. The most common is found among people who wake up frequently during the night. Others find it hard to fall asleep in the first place; a third group wakes at dawn and can’t return to sleep; and a fourth group sleeps normally but can’t overcome fatigue the following day.

Shin Won-chul, a neurology professor at Kyung Hee University’s East and West Neo Medical Center, warned that stress causes insomnia and when people get anxious about not falling asleep, chronic insomnia can occur.

“About 60 percent of people suffering from insomnia say they have suffered more than five years,” Shin said.



By Park Tae-kyun [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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