NEW YORK — It turns out you don’t have to live in “the city that never sleeps” to be an American suffering from sleep deprivation. A new study reveals less than one in 10 people (8%) actually feel fully rested after sleeping.
A survey of 2,000 respondents finds that, on average, Americans only get five hours of sleep every night. More than six in 10 people (61%) cannot remember the last time they felt truly well-rested. Just over one in five (22%) say they can “never” get enough sleep, while 79 percent are satisfied with their sleep.
Americans who say they don’t get enough sleep are likely to be more introverted (29%) and blame stress for keeping them awake at night (68%). They are also more particular about falling asleep only if they’re in the right conditions (64%) and would even give up an hour of morning productivity if it means getting more sleep (32%).
Meanwhile, Americans who say they do get enough rest at night are likely to be extroverts (22%) and less likely to allow stress to prevent them from sleeping (55%). They also care less about their surrounding conditions when going to bed (61%) and would rather not give up that hour of productivity (14%).
Sleeplessness is a serious issue
As far as what keeps them up at night, the majority of Americans (61%) have no problem agreeing that the vicious political and pandemic news cycles have caused them to lose sleep over the past year. Commissioned by LIFEAID and conducted by OnePoll, the study also reveals 69 percent of all Americans wish a lack of sleep was taken more seriously than it currently is by society.
On average, 61 percent of Americans struggle to fall asleep three times a week. However, nearly four in 10 people (39%) refuse to take any sleeping aids to help. The top reasons they don’t take any sleeping aids include not trusting them (42%), not wanting to become dependent on sleep meds (40%), and being afraid of negative side-effects (34%).
“The past 11 months have given all of us plenty of highly stressful reasons to stay awake at night. Coupled with factors like working from home or even unemployment, homeschooling and the loss of our usual exercise routines, our individual circadian rhythms and the quality of our personal sleep are all over the map,” says LIFEAID Beverage Co. co-founder Orion Melehan in a statement. “Now, there’s Daylight Savings and World Sleep Day, and it’s clear the importance of getting a good night’s sleep is more important than ever before.”
New Year’s resolution to get more sleep?
The study finds that while personalities may differ based on the quality of sleep, Americans agree on the overall value of getting good sleep. Two-thirds of respondents believe good sleep is the key to eating healthier, drinking more water, and even being friendlier towards strangers.
Nearly half the poll (49%) believes their emotional health would improve if they got more or better-quality sleep. Similarly, Americans believe their mental health (44%), concentration (43%), and even their appetite (38%) would improve with better sleep.
Americans are so dedicated to sleep, three-quarters of them (76%) take naps during the day. However, 70 percent of nap-takers admit they do so to make up for a lack of sleep from the previous night. Getting better quality sleep is especially important to those who lack it. Three out of four (76%) sleepless Americans have made catching up on sleep a top priority for themselves this year. Overall, 68 percent of Americans plan to get better sleep in 2021.
“As dramatically as our lives have changed, the factors that enable us to enjoy a restorative night’s sleep remain the same and rely on a good diet, some exercise, and managing stress and anxiety properly,” adds Melehan. “And if we’re having consistent problems with sleeping well, we also need to be more curious about sleep aids, including meditation or supplements.”