Tired nation: Average American wakes up well-rested only 3 days a week

NEW YORK — If you’re waking up feeling more exhausted than when you fell asleep, you’re not alone. According to new research, the average American wakes up feeling well-rested only three mornings out of the week. The survey of 2,000 U.S. adults reports that the average person doesn’t get anywhere near the quality or amount of sleep they want.

On average, Americans only get six hours of sleep on any given night, while a majority aspire to get eight or more in the new year (58%).

The study, commissioned by Premier Protein and conducted by OnePoll, concludes that not only were Americans seldom waking up feeling refreshed, but the average person also struggles to wind down before bed nearly half of the week.

Parents in particular claim to struggle with nighttime routines. Thirty-five percent of respondents who are parents say their nighttime routine suffers, with a similar percentage of parents sharing that they have trouble winding down before bed most of the week (34%).

It’s not just parents, however, as two in three Americans (66%) report that they need a full two hours or more to wind down before being able to fall asleep. Respondents from the Northeast (38%) and “night people” (53%) are most likely to struggle with winding down.

“Many don’t realize how their evening routine and eating habits throughout the day can impact overall sleep quality,” says Carissa Galloway, a registered dietitian nutritionist, Premier Protein nutrition consultant, and personal trainer, in a statement. “Committing to a consistent and relaxing nighttime routine, as well as making healthy food and drink choices throughout the day can help support a healthy sleep regimen.”

sleep problems

Is good sleep about what you eat?

One key factor Americans point to as impacting their sleep routine is nutrition. Nearly half the poll (47%) believe their eating habits have an impact on their ability to relax before bed. People also have a difficult time relaxing and unwinding before bed when they miss their health goals during the day like indulging in unhealthy foods, snacking instead of eating full meals or skipping meals (37%).

On the flip side, the survey found that foods and beverages like milk (41%), tea (31%), honey (23%), wine (19%), and bananas (19%) rank as the top items respondents believe they can eat before bed to improve sleep quality.

Currently, 39 percent of Americans rate their sleep pattern — how often they wake up during the night, when they fall asleep, whether or not they wake feeling rested — as below average. Only eight percent claim they have an “excellent” sleep pattern.

Similarly, more than a third also rate their sleep routine — preparing to go to sleep, nightly routine, usage of sleep time products and bedtime consistency — as below average (36%). Those who identify as “day people” are more likely to have a “good” or “excellent” sleep routine (45%), compared to just 22 percent of “night people.”

New year, new sleep routine?

To improve their sleep, Americans are striving to prioritize sleep routines and habits in the new year. Bedtime routines are rising in importance and popularity, with 59 percent of people setting a 2023 resolution to improve their sleep routine.

People crave better sleep so much, 46 percent have willingly tried something they saw or read online with the hopes it would help. However, it’s not always easy. Half of the respondents claimed that their quality of sleep has become worse as they’ve grown older.

Two in three Americans say that being able to wind down before bed does more for their sleep routine than just trying to go to sleep as soon as they can. “A strong sleep routine is so central to a healthy, happy and energized lifestyle,” says Nick Stiritz, vice president of United States brands at Premier Protein. “It’s important to invest in helping consumers commit to a healthy sleep routine and give Americans the tools to relax and unwind before bed in a delicious way.”

This year, Americans will strive to commit to a regular sleep schedule (49%), go to bed earlier (43%), and practice a consistent nighttime routine (38%). Parents are especially determined to have a better sleep routine (60%).

Other tips respondents shared that help them sleep well are to have warm drinks before bed to help them relax (36%), take naps to make up for missed sleep (33%), or have a glass of wine before bed to help their body unwind (18%).

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 nationally representative Americans was commissioned on behalf of Premier Protein Good Night Products between November 22 and November 25, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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