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South Korea: Why do so many people find it difficult to fall asleep?

Our Spinning World

South Korea is one of the most sleep-deprived nations on Earth, and it has had a massive impact on its population.

Ji-Eun found it challenging to sleep when her office hours became so exhausted that she could no longer relax.

At the Dream Sleep Clinic in the glitzy Gangnam district of Seoul, Dr Ji-hyeon Lee, a psychiatrist specializing in sleep, says she often sees clients who consume up to 20 sleeping pills a night.

“It usually takes a while to fall asleep, whereas Koreans want to sleep faster, so they take medicine,” she says.

Addiction to sleep medications is a national epidemic.

There aren’t any official statistics, but estimated that 100,000 Koreans are dependent on sleeping pills.

When they still can’t sleep, they often resort to drinking alcohol on top of the medication — with severe consequences.

‘’People sleepwalk. They go to the refrigerator and unconsciously eat a heap of things, including uncooked food,’’ Dr Lee says.



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