Americans Can’t Decide How They Feel About Sleep

A new survey shows Americans understand why sleep is important, but when confronted with how much they’re supposed to sleep, they’re not so enthusiastic about it.

The survey, administered by the Better Sleep Council (BSC), shows that the way sleep is framed influences the way people feel about it. When asked about how important sleep is, only 2-percent view sleep as a waste of time. But negative feelings become more prominent when people are told how much of their lives are spent asleep. For example, when told they will spend an average of one-third of their lives sleeping, 15-percent of respondents felt negatively about the amount of time spent “wasted” on sleep – despite the fact that this is the typical biological requirement. And when told that they will have slept for roughly 20 years by the time they reach age 60, a total of 33-percent of respondents were dismayed that they were “about to waste 20 years” of their life or said they “never want to sleep again.”

According to the research, Millennials are significantly more likely to feel that spending the appropriate amount of their lifetime sleeping is a waste of time (30-percent), compared to Generation X (23-percent) and Baby Boomer (21-percent) respondents.

Based on this survey, it sounds like it’s best to take your sleep night by night, and not look at the big picture.

Trying to improve your night’s sleep?  Check out these tips:

  • Make sleep a priority. Keep a consistent sleep and wake schedule – even on the weekends. If necessary, try adding sleep to your to-do list. And don’t be late.
  • Maintain a relaxing sleep routine. Create a bedtime routine that relaxes you. Experts recommend reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a hot bath.
  • Create a sleep sanctuary. Your bedroom should be a haven of comfort. Create a room that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool for the best sleep possible. Consider a bedroom makeover.
  • Evaluate your sleep system. Your mattress and pillow should provide full comfort and support. Your bed and your body will naturally change over time, so if your mattress is seven years old (or older), it may be time for a new one. Pillows should generally be replaced every year.
  • Banish technology. Television, smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers should be kept out of the bedroom. Intense backlighting of electronics triggers stimulating chemicals in the brain that tell your body it’s time to be awake.

Source: News Release