Man eating pizza and drinking beer alone in bed

Unhealthy habits (© LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS -

New survey examining bedtime habits also shows that the average person wakes up three times in the middle of the night!

NEW YORK — Four in five Americans say crumbs in the bed lead to the crummy night’s sleep. A survey of 2,000 adults delves into disruptors most impacting sleep and finds that eating in bed may be one of the biggest culprits.

Bedtime can trigger cravings for many people, as nearly half (48%) admit they regularly eat before bed. Results show these respondents are likely to crave sweets (50%) such as cookies (42%) or salty snacks (32%) like chips (49%) or popcorn (45%).

Not in the bedroom!

Additionally, 35 percent of respondents admit to eating in bed. However, people feel so strongly against eating and getting crumbs in their bed that a third of respondents consider it a dating dealbreaker if their partner did it. Having a partner who eats in bed is particularly offensive to millennials (38%), who say they would consider ending the relationship over it. Ironically, they are also the generation that is most inclined to snack in bed (40%).

Conducted by OnePoll for Serta Simmons Bedding, the survey also looks into the quality of sleep that people are getting and found that a fifth of respondents say it’s been over a month since they’ve gotten a night of perfect sleep (21%). In fact, the poll finds that the average person wakes up three times per night!

For millennials, waking up at least three times per night is the norm. Of all generations, baby boomers are the most likely to miss out on a perfect night’s sleep for over a month (30%).

Being too hot while sleeping can be another disruption. Most respondents wake up more often at night when they feel hot (76%), leading them to turn on the AC or a fan (49%), sleep without the covers (37%), or change their clothes to cool down (36%). Surprisingly, people in the northeast are more likely to wake up often when they feel hot (89%), compared to just 61 percent of southerners living in warmer climates.

“Studies have shown that sleeping hot can impede the body’s ability to rest and recover,” says JD Velilla, Serta Simmons Bedding’s Head of Sleep Experience, in a statement. “Interrupted sleep may lead to irritability, increased stress and decreased creativity, among other things. If you tend to sleep hot, light clothing, breathable linens or a mattress with cooling technology can help.”

sleep disruption

Americans are constantly tossing and turning

Adding to sleep restlessness, 65 percent say they toss and turn at night because they can’t find a comfortable sleeping position and a similar percentage switch between cocooning themselves in their blanket and kicking it away when trying to get comfortable (64%). In terms of who has the most restless sleep, Gen Z (18-25) (74%) and the silent generation (77-94) (73%) are most likely to toss and turn at night because they can’t find a comfortable sleep position.

Among pet owners, their furry family members wake them up twice a week with their barks, meows, or whimpers (36%), when they need to go outside (31%), or when they take up too much space in the bed (30%).

Parents also find themselves having trouble sleeping when their child wakes them up, which happens on average twice a week – usually when they need to use the bathroom (34%) or when they have nightmares (31%). After waking up, 49 percent of parents almost always give in and let their kids crawl into bed with them.

Luckily, better sleep may be just around the corner for parents as kids return to school. Nearly half of parents say they get more sleep when their kids return to school (49%), and a similar percentage say the quality of their sleep is better during this time (50%). Simple routines like making the bed can also contribute to a better night’s rest. Seventy-four percent sleep better crawling into a neatly made bed at night.

“While there are many sleep disruptors keeping us awake, there are also some ways to ensure you’re getting your nightly shut-eye,” Velilla adds. “Some of the top tips I recommend include sticking to a sleep schedule and routine, understanding, and proactively addressing, your sleep disruptors, as well as making your bedroom a recovery room designed to maximize sleep.”

About 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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