NEW YORK — It’s official: the best sleep comes from huddling under a cozy blanket in a quiet, cool room. That’s according to a new survey of 2,000 Americans that found just two in five would rate their quality of sleep as “excellent” (41%). However, just a third of adults feel refreshed when waking up in the morning (30%).
A report from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School cited the various effects sleep has on wellness, such as reducing the risks of serious health conditions and increasing the chances of a greater lifespan.
This could be why seven in 10 Americans say they need their nighttime environment to be a certain way to get their best sleep (71%). The average person falls asleep by 10 p.m., but nearly a fifth of respondents go to bed later than this. Those who claim they have “excellent” sleep prefer to hit the hay a little earlier at 9:39 p.m.
Millennials are the most likely to go to bed the earliest at 9:49 p.m., followed by Gen X and baby boomers.
Getting shut-eye in a silent room (31%) with some light on (72%) also contributes to “excellent” sleep — especially for boomers who prefer these conditions more so than millennial and Gen X respondents. Keeping a comfy blanket nearby year-round (66%) along with leaving at least an hour between their last meal and going to bed also makes for good sleep (61%).
Perfect conditions for the perfect sleep
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Serta Simmons Bedding for Sleep Awareness Month, the survey also explored other key factors to achieving great sleep. This includes sleeping with two pillows on a medium-support mattress and a comfortably cool room (37%).
However, preferences differ regionally, with respondents in the Northeast being more than twice as likely to prefer a warm room than their southern counterparts.
While more people prefer to sleep with some light on than in a completely dark room (36% vs. 29%), snoozing with sound on is just as common as without (34% vs. 33%). While unwinding for bed, most people take under half an hour to complete their nightly routine like brushing their teeth (45%), completing their skincare regimen (41%), and watching TV (38%).
“Our bodies crave consistency, so creating an impactful sleep routine is critically important to getting a great night of rest, which we know contributes to better health,” says JD Velilla, Serta Simmons Bedding’s head of sleep experience, and member of the Global Wellness Institute, in a statement.
“It is also important to set up the right sleep environment, including investing in a high-quality mattress as well as related accessories such as breathable linens and a white noise machine, to name a few.”
Some people wake up 5 times a night!
The data further suggests that falling asleep is challenging for many people. Two in three have trouble falling asleep while thinking about everything they have to do the next day.
The things which people up at night include worries about their family (42%) or work (41%). While the average person wakes up twice a night, more than a quarter (29%) of those who regularly have “bad” sleep find themselves wide awake at least five times a night.
Although 37 percent can fall right back asleep, others spend their restless moments reading (45%), watching TV (44%), or listening to music (38%) for about half an hour before feeling sleepy again. Forty-three percent of respondents would give up coffee for better sleep, and 30 percent would sacrifice dessert.
“The first step in achieving excellent sleep quality is identifying elements that may disturb your sleep like noises, lighting, or temperature,” Velilla adds. “Once you understand what is interrupting your ability to get a good night of sleep, you can better create the environment and regimen that is needed to create the ideal recovery environment for you.”