We all want to have that satisfying good night’s sleep. But is all sleep created equal? According to the Handbook of Clinical Neurology, we humans spend a third of our lives sleeping. Although that sounds like a lot of bed time, the truth is that insufficient sleep is quite an issue in America.
As many as 164 million Americans struggle to get some shut-eye every week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even dubbed it a “public health problem” — take a moment to sleep on that. Numerous studies detail why we shouldn’t miss out on getting proper Zzs.
To show the state of sleep in America, over 70 sleep statistics have been collected. From sleep deprivation to bedtime habits to dreams, these statistics might just keep you up at night.
Lack of Sleep
- 68% of Americans struggle to sleep at least once a week.
- 36.5% of U.S. workers receive less than the recommended seven hours of sleep.
- 41% of people use over-the-counter sleep aids several times a week.
- Americans who reported having very good or excellent health had 23 more minutes of sleep than those who rated their health as good, fair, or poor.
- Only 1 in 10 Americans consider sleep to be their top priority over fitness, work, hobbies, and social life.
- Women are more likely to struggle once per week with sleeping (26%) than men (16%).
- Healthy sleep duration is more common among non-Hispanic whites (67%), Hispanics (66%), and Asians (63%), and is less common among non-Hispanic blacks (54%) and multiracial non-Hispanics (54%)
- 50 to 70 million US adults have a sleep disorder.
- More than 70 types of sleep disorders exist. The most common are insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, movement syndromes, and narcolepsy.
- Up to 90% of insomnia sufferers have a higher risk of pain conditions, glycogen storage disease, and hypoxemia.
The Science of Sleep
- Humans are the only mammals that delay sleep.
- The average person takes 7 minutes to fall asleep.
- An extra 60 to 90 minutes of sleep per night can make you happier and healthier.
- People who get 5 to 6 hours of sleep are 4.2 times more likely to get sick over people who sleep 7 hours or more.
- People with consistent sleep schedules are 1.5 times more likely to feel well-rested during the day.
- 48% of Americans report that they snore.
- New Zealand has the highest sleep average at 7 hours and 30 minutes, while Japan has the lowest at 5 hours and 59 minutes. The sleep average in the U.S. is 7 hours and 6 minutes.
- People who slept less than 7 hours were more likely to report being above average weight (33%), physically inactive (27%), current smokers (23%), and excessive alcohol drinkers (19%).
- The fetal position is the most popular sleeping position with 41% of adults reporting, compared to sleeping on one’s side (28%), lying on your back (8%), and lying on the stomach (7%).
- More than 50% of the U.S. population takes naps during the week.
- 11:21 PM is the average bedtime for Americans.
We know that dreams can be blissful, weird, and even alarming. Contrary to what you may think, dreaming is a good indicator of your sleep quality and your state of mind.
- People over 10 years old generally dream 4 to 6 times and for about two hours each night.
- 50% of your dreams are forgotten in the first five minutes of waking up. 95% is lost by the time you roll out of bed.
- 65% of our dreams are filled with sadness and anger, while 20% contain happiness and excitement.
- A study found that those who had REM “dream sleep” performed 32% better at puzzle solving than those who had non-REM sleep.
- Men have dreams featuring other men 70% of the time, while women dream about women and men equally.
- A Brazilian study found that 77% of participants had a lucid dream at least once.
- Nightmares are experienced by 80% of people living with PTSD.
Sleep Deprivation Statistics
Many Americans run on a sleep deficit. Studies show that missing out on proper sleep can bring about financial, health, and psychological consequences.
- 40% of Americans are sleep deprived.
- The financial impact of sleep deprivation in the U.S. is $411 billion annually — the same amount as cybercrime.
- If people who sleep under 6 hours slept for an additional hour or two, they would add up to $226.4 billion back to the U.S. economy.
- People who sleep less than 7 hours each night are 12% more likely to die prematurely.
- Sleep deprivation can cause you to lose 11 days of productivity.
- Each child in a household increases the mother’s risk of insufficient sleep by 46%.
- 100,000 deaths occur each year in U.S. hospitals due to medical errors, many of which are caused by sleep deprivation.
- Drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 non-fatal injuries annually.
- Chronic sleep problems affect 50% to 80% of patients with a psychiatric condition, compared with 10% to 18% of adults in the general population.
Sleep Apnea Statistics
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects many Americans and interrupts breathing during sleep.
- 56% of people ages 65 and older have a higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Sleep apnea occurs in about 3% of average weight individuals and 20% of above average weight people.
- People with sleep apnea are 45% more likely to develop high blood pressure.
- It is estimated that 1% to 4% of children suffer from sleep apnea, many of them between 2 and 8 years old.
- Sleep apnea is less prevalent in women — only 9% to 21% of women have the disorder compared to 24% to 31% of men.
Sleep Paralysis Statistics
Sleep paralysis occurs when your mind wakes up but your body stays asleep. Being physically paralyzed and feeling an “evil” presence often occur during this phenomenon.
- Sleep paralysis tends to appear in the teen years and occurs most often in ages 20–40.
- 8% of the general population reported having isolated sleep paralysis once in their lifetime.
- Sleep paralysis is prevalent among 28% of students, who are often sleep deprived and stressed.
- 7% of student-athletes encounter sleep paralysis at least once per week American.
- 32% of psychiatric patients have reported having at least one episode of sleep paralysis.
- Up to 90% of sleep paralysis episodes involve fear.
College Student Sleep Statistics
Late nights are the norm for college students. However, getting enough sleep is vital to academic success and personal well-being. Yet college students aren’t getting enough of it.20% of students pull an “all-nighter” at least once a month.
- 5.9% of U.S. college students have trouble sleeping all days of the week.
- 73% of students “crash” on the weekends and sleep as long as 9 hours.
- A Brown University study found that insomnia affected 30% of female students and 18% of male students.
- 56.8% of students “feel rested” only three nights per week.
- 56.8% of students “feel rested” only three nights per week.
- Freshmen are 14% more likely to drop a class for every night of missed sleep.
- 1 in 4 students at the University of Georgia says sleep loss hurts their academic performance.
- 60% of young adults ages 18 to 29 take sleep into account when planning their day.
Teenage Sleep Deprivation Statistics
Sleep deprivation is as big of an epidemic among teens as it is with adults. While mobile phones are largely to blame, many teens lose out on sleep due to schoolwork.
- A report found that one-third of teens say that stress caused them to lie awake.
- High school students lose an average of 8.5 hours of sleep per week due to school.
- Teenagers who sleep an additional 34 minutes can score 4.5% higher on exams.
- For each hour of sleep lost at night, teenagers have a 38% chance of feeling sad, hopeless, or suicidal.
- Putting down smartphones before bed can help teens sleep for 21 more minutes per night.
Sleep and Technology
With many Americans in sleep debt, new technology like tracking apps, sleep monitors, and intelligent bedroom lighting has been developed to improve our sleep.
- Over 10% of surveyed adults said they use sleep trackers on a regular basis.
- 15% of young Americans (ages 18–29) use sleep tracking apps regularly, the highest among all age groups.
- Women are 50% more likely to use sleep trackers than men.
- The sleep technology market is expected to hit $79.8 billion by 2020.
- Studies show that exposure to blue light from digital screens can reduce sleep by 16 minutes and cause an average of 7.6 sleep disruptions at night.
Mattress Industry Statistics
Americans are increasingly viewing their mattress quality as the key to good sleep. The industry continues to grow as more people buy their beds online.
- The global mattress market is projected to grow to $43 billion by 2024.
- Online sales of mattresses skyrocketed by 60.6% in 2017.
- 49% of Americans sleep on either an innerspring or pillow top mattress, making these the most popular types of mattresses.
- A study found that a new mattress reduced its participants’ back pain by 48% and improved sleep quality by 55%.
- Older Americans are more likely to spend on a mattress, with baby boomers willing to spend an average of $1,036 compared to just $726 for millennials.
- Queen beds are the most popular bed size, with 47% of Americans sleeping on one at home.
- 91% of Americans say a good mattress is “essential” to health, with women (68%) more likely to think so than men (51%).