On November 9th, TODAY launches a weeklong “Snooze or Lose” series with a commissioned survey exploring why Americans can’t sleep. Highlights with the best statistics and videos are shown below, but more can be found at the link to today.com.
Americans feel so sleep deprived that almost half of adults — 65% of women — prefer a good night’s sleep over sex.
- 72% of adults see sleep as one of the great pleasures of life, but 46% say they don’t get enough. It’s even worse for women; 58% fall short of their ideal goal of just over eight hours a night.
- 33% of young adults 18-34 believe to get ahead in their careers, they must survive on less sleep; while 19% of 35-54 year-olds and just 6% for seniors think this.
- 40% of young adults, 33% of older adults, and over 11% of seniors believe they must sacrifice sleep to care for their families.
- 64% of young adults, 49% of older adults, and 35% of seniors agree that being able to survive on less sleep would be an advantage.
- 32% of young adults say work makes them fret throughout the night.
- 31% say their children cause sleepless nights.
- When it comes to children, interrupted sleep seems unavoidable and 42% of people with a child under 18 report inadequate sleep.
Our technologies can negatively affect our ability to fall and stay asleep:
- 51% of people have a TV remote within reach while in bed.
- 50% have their smartphones within reach.
- 23% have a computer within reach.
- 21% have a tablet within reach.
- Only 1 in 5 adults doesn’t sleep with any device within reach
- 77% of older adults said they watched TV right before bed, with almost 2/3 of young adults using their smartphones before sleep.
- Watching TV and working on the Internet can be mentally stimulating, and the light affects melatonin production and the circadian rhythm.
Who we sleep with also plays a role.
- About half, 47%, of people sleep alone, including 53% of young adults, 39% of older adults, and 48% of seniors.
- When one partner has a sleep disorder, the other suffers too.
- It’s not just partner interruptions. Insomnia is a big problem, with 61% of the survey participants reporting problems falling and staying asleep.
- Chronic insomnia affects as many as 10% of adults, but most remain untreated because they aren’t diagnosed.
Inadequate sleep isn’t just a minor annoyance: it can affect our health, behavior, relationships, safety, school performance, and careers.
- 80% of people who don’t get adequate sleep experience more stress about finances and 74% worry more about their health.
- Overall 29% had difficulty concentrating over the past month. Among young adults that number increased to 39%.
- 23% had difficulty performing chores.
- 19% lost interested in hobbies and leisure activities.
- 16% reported falling asleep at inappropriate times during the day.
- 16% experienced short tempers or inappropriate behavior with children or partners.
- 13% reported short tempers or inappropriate behavior at work.
- Even short-term sleep deprivation causes people to suffer from cognitive impairment, including confused thinking, slower reaction times, and symptoms that mimic depression and anxiety.
- In the long term, poor sleep leads to weight-gain, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems.
- With chronic sleep loss a person becomes “very similar to a patient with diabetes.” The body doesn’t know how to handle blood sugar.
While the news from TODAY’s “Snooze or Lose” survey might seem bleak, some sleep problems are temporary, and sleep experts can treat the ones that aren’t. That’s why I’m working with Dr. Bruce Wayne Meleski to launch the Intelligent Sleep solutions center in Austin.
Sleep Videos (each preceded by a 30-sec ad)