Noise and light are common disruptors to the sleep of Americans, according to a survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that found that more than one-third of Americans always or often experience disrupted sleep due to outside noise (36%), indoor lights (35%), and outdoor lights (33%).  

The survey also probed what products are used during sleep and found that nearly half of people use a fan (47%), 29% use black-out curtains, and 24% use an alarm clock with wake-up lights. Other popular accessories include weighted blankets (20%), sleep masks (20%), noise machines or apps (18%), and earplugs (16%). 

“What defines a comfortable night’s sleep varies from person to person, but developing a consistent sleep routine that removes distraction is a big first step in building a habit of good sleep health,” says James A. Rowley, MD, president of the AASM, in a release. “An effective metric for a successful nightly routine is that it leads to seven or more hours of sleep a night.” 

How do people unwind for bed? The survey also asked what is regularly included in the bedtime routine and found that 39% of Americans take a bath or shower, while only 34% go to bed at the same time each night. Other bedtime routine activities include: 

  • 30% turn off electronics before bed 
  • 29% read  
  • 25% have sex 
  • 22% drink tea or other nonalcoholic beverage 
  • 21% meditate or do breathing exercises 
  • 20% stretch 
  • 20% smoke a cigarette or vape 
  • 19% smoke marijuana 
  • 15% drink an alcoholic beverage 

“Going to bed at the same time each night is one of the keys to a successful and healthy sleep routine, yet only about one-third of people are doing it,” says Rowley in a release. “The new year provides the perfect time to reset habits to make sure that healthy sleep is a priority.” 

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