The Better Sleep Council (BSC), the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), released its findings from a new survey on America’s bedtime performance as it relates to sleep regimen, finding that men outperformed their female counterparts, but both have room to improve.
Participants were asked about their bedtime habits and received a ranking based on best practices when it comes to sleep behaviors, such as turning off electronics before bed, keeping a regular bedtime, etc.
On average, Americans earned a grade of a “C-” (70%) but looking at the sexes side-by-side, men nudged out women for bed rest with an average score of 72%. However, when drilling into specific habits that contribute to a good night’s sleep, men stood out in the bedroom. Results also took into consideration participants’ overall satisfaction with the quantity and quality of their sleep, such as feeling well-rested, pleased with the amount of sleep they get, etc.
“Over the past few years, the Better Sleep Council has noticed that people aren’t bragging about how little sleep they’re getting, they’re bragging about how much sleep they are getting. In fact, getting enough quality sleep is becoming a status symbol among Americans,” said Mary Helen Rogers, vice president of marketing and communications for ISPA, in a release. “Through our survey, we wanted to learn for ourselves—’how good is America in bed?’ Results from the survey found that Americans aren’t walking the talk.”
Differing Bedtime Habits between the Sexes
Women are particularly deficient when it comes to getting enough sleep: Despite 84% of women believing sleep is important to their overall health and wellness, their bedtime habits and lifestyles have created barriers to get the desired amount of sleep. The two areas where women particularly fell short were ability to fall asleep and ability to rise in the morning. The survey revealed that 34 million women experience trouble sleeping and/or staying asleep almost all the time (21%), and nearly 20 million hit the snooze button numerous times every day (12%).
Loved ones also kept women up at night. Survey results found that more than 24 million women were likely to let kids and pets in the bed (15%), compared to 4 million men (3%).
According to the study, men were more likely to engage in positive sleep habits: 55 million men reported sleeping alone (35%), 22 million follow a strict bedtime—even on the weekends (14%), 35 million do not have caffeinated beverages past noon (22%), and more than 55 million keep their stress level to a minimum (35%).
Other Sleep Indicators
Additional key sleep performance takeaways from the survey include:
- 77 million Americans (24%) claim they have no electronics in their bedroom, not even a television. How this impacts sleep: The blue light emitted by the screens on cell phones, computers, tablets and televisions restrains the production of melatonin, keeping you from getting the quality sleep you need.
- 174 million Americans (54%) rarely/never drink alcohol before bed. How this impacts sleep: For the 46% of Americans who reported drinking alcohol, it’s best to drink it in the early evening. Generally, it takes 1 hour to metabolize one ounce of alcohol, which can wreak havoc on sleep quality.
- 193 million Americans (60%) have a mattress that’s less than 7 years old. How this impacts sleep: Experts advise you to evaluate your mattress after 7 years for wear and tear. An older mattress may no longer provide the comfort and support that is key for quality sleep.
Quality Sleep Is “In”
Although the survey shows that there are areas where everyone can improve, the shift in the way Americans are talking about their own sleep habits is encouraging. Capitalizing on this trend, the BSC has launched the Better in Bed campaign during Better Sleep Month to support this positive movement of consumers striving not just for more sleep each night, but for quality, restorative sleep as well.
“Better Sleep Month is the perfect time to engage consumers with entertaining and useful tips to up their game between the sheets,” says Rogers. “Throughout the month of May, the BSC will be providing sleep solutions, so everyone can brag about how good they are in bed and, most importantly, for everyone to sleep just a little more soundly.”