National SleepBetter Survey Belies Thanksgiving Myths

Two in three Americans say “no” to naps on Turkey Day but More than Half Say Someone Else Does

Richmond, Va. – Most Americans are not napping on Turkey Day, but they are sleeping in the following morning and bypassing the lure of discounts on Black Friday, according to a just-released national survey commissioned by that shatters two time-held myths about the Thanksgiving Day weekend.

Despite turkey’s legendary soporific effects – its capacity to render Thanksgiving feasters unconscious – 71 percent of Americans say they do not nap on the holiday, although curiously enough, more than half of those surveyed (56%) say they know someone who does. For those who do confess to dozing off, one in seven (14%) say they snooze between 30 and 60 minutes, while 8 percent say their siesta lasts more than an hour. Predictably perhaps, more women (75%) than men (67%) say they do not nap on Thanksgiving Day.

And notwithstanding the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season, seven in 10 Americans (70%) say they do not shop on Black Friday, the ominously nicknamed day after Thanksgiving. (Curiously, the results were nearly identical for both men and women – 70 percent vs. 69 percent, respectively.) For those who do shop that day, 67 percent said that they are up before 8 a.m., 42 percent are up before 6 a.m., including the 12 percent who indicated they rise before 4 a.m. to hit the stores.

“Many of our modern-day Thanksgiving traditions involve sleep – a chance to take a nap after the big meal, and then perhaps be up all the earlier the next morning to hit the stores,” said Dan Schecter, vice president of consumer products at Carpenter Co., and creator of “But the lore around Thanksgiving does not, in fact, match the reality, as this survey bears out. As it turns out, the purported effects of tryptophan are not enough to induce sleep for most of us, unless perhaps the football games or Uncle Leo’s stories are more boring than usual. Even more surprising perhaps is the fact that such a large majority of us are not heading to the stores on what has been seen as the traditional start of the shopping season. It appears that the day after Thanksgiving is a great time to catch up on our sleep.”

In fact, many Americans do put a premium on sleep over the Thanksgiving holiday. About one in four (24%) survey respondents said that they bring their own bedding or pillow with them when traveling in order to ensure a restful night. Another one in 10 (9%) Americans have booked a hotel room rather than stay with friends or relatives whose beds are not comfortable.

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. / 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.’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. 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, provides information and advice that visitors can use to sleep better. For more information, please visit

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 to learn more.