Doctors are having to prescribe sleep to people who are under the impression that they're suffering from severe medical conditions.

An alarming amount of people in Sydney have shockingly low rates of knowledge when it comes to looking after themselves.

Research has found that Sydneysiders aren't sleeping enough, which is causing them to become sick due to exhaustion.

Bayer conducted a survey for their 'Health Yourself' campaign that found that almost a quarter of Sydney's population are 'clueless' about how much nightly sleep is healthy.

Just one night of poor sleep can affect mood, metabolism and hand-eye coordination, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Sleep deprivation over a long period of time - under 5.5 hours per night - is linked to long-term health issues such as diabetes, obesity, anxiety and cardiovascular disease.

Sleep deprivation is the reason 67 per cent of people feel run down occasionally, with only one in 10 rating their health as being very good.

It was also found that 20 per cent of Sydney's population didn't realise that the average amount of sleep needed per night was seven to eight hours.

The findings also say that Australians are relying too heavily on health resources to assist them with general self-care.

One in five people go to the doctor to treat 'simple' illnesses such as a cold, and young Australians between 18-24 years of age the guiltiest of doing so.

The survey also found that 52 per cent of Australians talk to their doctor for advice on how to stay healthy.

General practitioner based in Sydney, Dr Ginni Mansberg, said that she has advised patients to take time off work and tell them to sleep at least 10 hours per night.

Some people go to her with concerns of a 'significant mental health' problem, to which Dr Mansberg tells them to have a few days off and catch up on sleep.

'When people are bursting into tears at the drop of a hat, being angry, not coping, not performing well at work, conflict with people at work I'm not going to pull out a script for antidepressants when really this person is having a major sleep deficit,' she said.

Dr Mansberg encourages sleep aids such as herbal remedies and over-the-counter medication to help with their exhaustion.

She said that women were the worst culprits, believing they have a hormone imbalance when they just need some sleep.

'They get a short-term massive injection of sleep into the bank and then we can look at what's going on here, whether they do have depression or you're just exhausted and need to sleep.'

Dr Mansberg is worried that it's a sign that people are clueless when it comes to healthy sleeping schedules.

The campaign's research also stated that one-third of people don't know what the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables is per day.

The people who are unaware of this are also likely to rate their health as 'very poor', the results say.

There is also a large amount of people who don't understand the difference between sugar levels, with 57 per cent incorrectly assuming that the sugar levels are different between low fat foods and full fat versions.

It is also alarming that one fifth of Sydneysiders don't know that an hour of exercise per day is needed to reduce cardiovascular disease.

Despite the alarming figures and the low self-care knowledge, 70 per cent of those that did the survey rated their health as 'good'.