Average person is asleep before 10 p.m. — and still wakes up feeling tired!

NEW YORK — Are sleep deprived people simply getting to bed too late? A new survey finds the answer is actually no. For most adults, the average time their head hits the pillow is actually 9:54 p.m. — and many say they still wake up feeling awful the next day!

In a poll of 2,000 adults, four in 10 people describe themselves as bad sleepers and another 60 percent admit their nighttime routine needs some work. There are a number of reasons someone may be tossing and turning at night. While the time you go to bed may be one of them, researchers say an early bedtime won’t matter if everything else is off the mark.

“Our study has shown how the actual time we go to bed can have a real impact on our sleeping routine as a whole,” says a spokesperson for furniture retailer DFS, who commissioned the poll, in a statement. “The hours of sleep we get is of course important, but the way we prepare ourselves and get ‘into the zone’ of sleep is also vital.”

With that in mind, only 24 percent say they sleep better when they get to sleep earlier. Prioritizing sleep also means getting yourself ready for bed.

Sleep is a foundational pillar of health. Proper rest isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. That’s why it’s important to focus on habits that will support quality sleep,” explains Anne Marie Boyhan, a sleep expert at The Sleep Care Company.

Summertime may make things even worse for bad sleepers out there. Three in 10 adults say they can’t go to bed before 10 p.m. and more than half need it to be completely dark outside to fall asleep.

Another 27 percent need to have all the doors locked before turning in and one in five need their room to be a certain temperature to fall asleep comfortably. One-third claim they won’t fall asleep unless they brush their teeth first. Overall, just one in three people call themselves a “good sleeper.”

“If you’re struggling to sleep, set up your bedroom’s environment for sleep success. Focus on creating a pitch-black bedroom and avoid blue light from screens one hour before bed. Also ensure you get natural light during the day. If sunlight reaches your eyes in the morning, it sets your biological clock and triggers the timing of the hormones cortisol and melatonin, which affect sleep,” Boyhan suggests.

Other methods involve closing your blinds and curtains to keep the room dark, using more than one pillow, and making sure there are no blinking lights such as a fire alarm in sight.

Top 20 Things Adults Need To Help Them Sleep:

  1. Curtains/ blinds closed
  2. Dark room
  3. Brushed their teeth
  4. Snuggled under the duvet
  5. Doors are locked
  6. Making sure no lights are on in the house
  7. More than one pillow
  8. Getting just the right temperature in the room
  9. Doors are shut
  10. Making sure there are no blinking lights – like on a fire alarm
  11. Windows are shut
  12. Switched off strange sounds, like bathroom extractor fan
  13. Washed their face
  14. No noise / using ear plugs
  15. Get prepped for the following morning
  16. Watch a TV show
  17. No electronic devices nearby
  18. Shower / wash before bed
  19. Put on hand cream
  20. Tie their hair up / out of the way

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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About the Author

Jocelyn Solis-Moreira

Jocelyn is a New York-based science journalist whose work has appeared in Discover Magazine, Health, and Live Science, among other publications. She holds a Master’s of Science in Psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience and a Bachelor’s of Science in integrative neuroscience from Binghamton University. Jocelyn has reported on several medical and science topics ranging from coronavirus news to the latest findings in women’s health.

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