Huge Majority of Americans Lose Sleep to Binge Watching TV

According to a new survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), U.S. adults rank sleep as their second most important priority, following family. However, what they’re showing by their actions is that TV ranks higher.

In the AASM survey, a whopping 88% of U.S. adults admitted they had lost sleep due to staying up late to watch multiple episodes of a TV show or streaming series — and this number jumps to 95% when looking at 18-44-year-olds. Americans have also postponed their bedtime to read, play video games and watch sports.

“It’s encouraging that Americans rank sleep as one of their highest priorities, but choosing to binge on entertainment at night instead of sleeping has serious ramifications,” said AASM President Dr. Kelly A. Carden. “Sleep is essential to health, well-being and safety, and chronic insufficient sleep can lead to an increased risk of health problems, mood disorders and motor vehicle accidents.”

Nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) admitted feeling frustrated by missed bedtimes. These feelings are more likely in younger Americans, with those in Generation Z admitting that staying up past their bedtime causes them to feel frustrated (32%), worried (23%) and guilty (19%). These feelings can compound the insufficient sleep problem, as negative thoughts about missing sleep might make it harder to fall asleep — especially when one tries to make up for the lost time.

“Healthy sleep promotes physical health and mental well-being, boosts performance and reduces safety risks,” said Dr. Carden. “It is a necessity and needs to be a priority — no matter how intrigued you are by the show you are watching.”