Tired nation: Average American sleeps poorly 3 nights each week

NEW YORK — If you’re looking to get a promotion at work, then you first need a good night’s sleep. A survey of 2,000 employed Americans reveals 58 percent feel like their work performance falters if they don’t get enough sleep at night.

Four in five workers (79%) believe the quality of sleep they get at night directly sets the tone for the following day. Without decent sleep, respondents often feel irritated (41%), unmotivated (38%), or unhappy (36%). Meanwhile, a good night’s sleep means waking up feeling energized (50%), satisfied (50%), and relaxed (49%).

Work Hard Sleep HarderCommissioned by Mattress Firm and conducted by OnePoll, the study finds the average American respondent has a poor night’s sleep three times a week. For 67 percent, poor sleep likely leads to forgetfulness while getting ready for the day the morning after.

Restlessness at night makes for common morning mistakes too. Those groggy gaffes include messing up hair (30%), forgetting contacts or glasses (29%), and forgetting to put a mug under the coffee maker (25%). The culprits for not getting decent sleep at night are obvious — not sleeping in the right temperature (63%), having to get up to use the bathroom (39%), and being stressed about the next day’s events (34%).

Respondents also identified the nights they get their best and worst sleep each week. The best nights for good rest are Fridays (21%) and Saturdays (18%), while the worst are Sundays (18%) and Mondays (18%). Two in three blame the “Sunday Scaries” – the feeling of dreading Monday morning – for having poor sleep that night. More than a quarter (26%) admit to not getting out of “weekend mode” until at least Wednesday.

The average American gets 51 minutes less sleep on Sunday nights

Work Hard Sleep Harder“I find that many of my patients suffer from ‘anticipatory anxiety’ or what many of us call the ‘Sunday scaries’,” says Dr. Chris Winter, MD, neurologist and Sleep.com’s sleep health expert, in a statement. “Many of us skip out on sleep during the workweek, causing us to feel more anxious in the hours leading up to bedtime on Sunday night, which makes it the worst day for sleep. It’s important to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, which means going to bed and waking up at the same times every day.”

The survey also discovered that a person’s job plays a role in their quality of sleep. Two out of three working Americans get less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night and 69 percent believe their work dictates their sleep quality. Two in three (65%) find it difficult to fall asleep at night after a stressful day at work. Another 80 percent admit they have taken naps while working from home.

According to respondents, napping on the job often stems from having a headache or not feeling well (41%), not getting enough sleep the night before (33%), or having a slow workday (32%).

While working remotely has had a positive impact on job performance for 64 percent of the poll, 57 percent say having the option to nap during the day has also positively impacted their work. In terms of having a better work-life balance, 74 percent have seen the same improvement in their quality of sleep since switching to remote work.

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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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