More Sleep on Many Americans’ Holiday Wish List

Anxiety and hustle-bustle of season play havoc on sleep, national survey finds

Richmond, Va. – The kids may be sleeping soundly this season with “visions of sugar plums in their heads,” but almost half of the nation’s moms and dads (44%) say they are worried about being able to afford the holidays this year, with one in six Americans (17%) expecting to lose sleep due to holiday-induced stress.

The findings are part of a national year-end survey – the SleepBetter.org Holiday Slumber Index, which measures the impact of the holidays on Americans’ sleep patterns. According to the survey, parents are most susceptible to sleep changes. Two in three (66%) of mothers and fathers, for example, say they will get six or fewer hours of sleep the night before gift-giving. And while 11 percent of households without kids say that holiday stressors cause them to lose sleep, more than twice as many parents (27%) indicate that this is the case.

“There are many ways that the holidays throw us off our sleep patterns,” said Dan Schecter, vice president of consumer products at Carpenter Co., and creator of SleepBetter.org. “Not only do the anxieties and excitement of the season have an impact on many people’s ability to fall asleep, but added obligations and the added busyness of this time of year mean trying to fit more into our days. And if you’re a parent, there often are not enough hours in the day. Ask most moms and dads what they want for the holidays, and it’s a good bet they have ‘a good night’s sleep’ at the top of their list.”

In fact, when asked what they look forward to most over the holidays, 6 percent of survey respondents said “sleep and rest,” which nearly tied with “giving/receiving gifts” (7 percent). (“Being with family” was the most popular response at 77 percent.) Two in five Americans (43%) say they do get a chance to sleep in over the holidays, while 20 percent say they typically find time to nap.

Among other findings in the SleepBetter.org Holiday Slumber Index:

One in five Americans (22%) say they sleep better over the holidays, with almost three times as many women (13%) than men (5%) indicating that they sleep “worse.”

About half of all respondents (49%) said they get six or fewer hours of sleep the night before gift-giving, but a total of 61% of Midwesterners report getting between seven and 10 hours of sleep on the eve of present exchanges.

Hispanics are more worried about affording the holidays this year – 46% vs. 35% for the general population.

While 43% of all respondents say they get to sleep in over the holidays, only 28% of those 55 and older do.

Survey Methodology
A nationally representative sample of 1,001 Americans was interviewed by telephone via Ipsos’ U.S. Telephone Express omnibus from November 5th through November 8th, 2009. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ± 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to date from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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About Carpenter Co. / www.sleepbetter.org
SleepBetter.org is dedicated to helping people sleep better. Designed as an online resource, the Web site creates a forum for visitors to define, discuss, and discover solutions to their particular sleep needs. SleepBetter.org’s quest is to continually gather pertinent sleep information, then share this knowledge with the general public. The site also shares tips on the best sleep related products, both in stores and online. SleepBetter.org has created the Sleep Better seal as a way to easily identify products recommended for their superior quality or scientifically based design. Created by Carpenter Co., the world’s largest producer of comfort cushioning products, SleepBetter.org provides information and advice that visitors can use to sleep better. For more information, please visit www.SleepBetter.org.

About Ipsos
Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that help interpret, simulate and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers and citizens around the world. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more.

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