Sleep Statistics

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By Rebekah Pierce

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

sleep statistics

Sleep is a basic human need that is essential to maintain our physical and mental health. 

However, according to research, many people don’t get enough quality sleep, and the negative consequences of poor sleep are widespread. 

In this post, we will highlight some of the most shocking sleep statistics that everyone should know for better shut-eye.

What Percentage of People Struggle With Sleep?

Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and yet, many of us struggle to get enough of it. 

From trying to adjust to a new schedule to dealing with a racing mind, there are countless reasons why we may not be getting the rest we need. But just how common are sleep struggles in today’s fast-paced world? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the NIH, about one in three adults in the United States reported not getting enough rest or sleep every day. That means roughly 33% of the population is experiencing some form of sleep struggle. 

From difficulties falling and staying asleep to dealing with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, there are countless reasons why people may not be getting the rest they need to stay healthy and function at their best.

For those who struggle with sleep, the consequences can be severe. 

Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to a range of health issues, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even depression. 

That’s why it’s so important to take steps to improve the quality of your sleep, whether that means creating a relaxing bedtime routine, investing in a comfortable mattress and pillows, or seeking professional help for a diagnosed sleep disorder.

Sleep Statistics – Highlights

  • More than a third of all adults aren’t getting enough sleep and feel sleepy during the day for at least half the week or more.
  • We spend around two hours per night, on average, dreaming. 
  • More than 80% of adults have taken a nap longer than 10 minutes within the last three months.
  • 7% of adults nap on a daily basis.
  • The average person experiences around four to six deep sleep cycles in a typical sleep cycle. 

More than a third of all adults aren’t getting enough sleep and feel sleepy during the day for at least half the week or more.

Source: National Sleep Foundation 

More than a third of all adults aren’t getting enough sleep, and it’s affecting their daily lives. 

Sleep deprivation can have several negative consequences, including mood swings, impaired cognitive function, and a weakened immune system. Therefore, it’s crucial to prioritize and aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

tired during the day

We spend around two hours per night, on average, dreaming. 

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes

Dreams have been a mystery for centuries, and it’s only recently that science has started to unravel some of the secrets behind them. 

On average, a person will spend around two hours every night dreaming, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes. 

Dreams can be both vivid and bizarre, and some researchers believe they help us process emotions and consolidate memories. While the science behind dreaming is still relatively unknown, the idea of exploring our subconscious through our dreams is fascinating.

Our body temperature decreases sharply during sleep and increases during the waking phase.

Source: National Library of Medicine

The body has an internal clock, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle, known as the circadian rhythm. During the sleep cycle, our body temperature decreases sharply, allowing our body to conserve energy. 

Conversely, it increases during the waking phase to promote alertness and wakefulness.. This temperature cycle is so vital that any disturbances can disrupt our sleep patterns and have detrimental effects on our health.

54% of adults sleep in the fetal position, while 37.5% sleep on their backs.

Source: Nature and Science of Sleep

Sleeping positions are subjective and depend on personal preferences and habits. However, studies have shown that certain sleeping positions can help alleviate common sleep problems such as snoring or sleep apnea.

For example, sleeping on one’s side can help reduce snoring and make breathing easier, which often happens with sleeping on your back.

The average person experiences around four to six deep sleep cycles in a typical sleep cycle. 

Source: Sleep Foundation

Each cycle is composed of four different stages, and deep sleep is the third stage. During this stage, the body repairs itself at the cellular level by releasing growth hormones, repairing tissues, and rejuvenating the immune system. Without deep sleep, people may feel exhausted, have difficulty concentrating, and experience other health problems.

sleep cycles

A lack of sleep costs the US more than $411 billion dollars and 1.23 million working days per year.

Source: Fortune

This loss arises from medical expenses, reduced productivity, and accidents related to sleep deprivation. Moreover, long-term sleep deprivation can lead to chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Therefore, investing in quality sleep is not only beneficial for the individual but also for the economy.

More than 80% of adults have taken a nap longer than 10 minutes within the last three months.

Source: Sleep Foundation

Napping is an effective way to boost alertness and energy. A short nap can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve overall cognitive functioning. However, napping for too long can lead to grogginess, making it difficult to focus and be productive. Napping for 20-30 minutes is usually recommended.

taking a nap

About 1 billion adults have obstructive sleep apnea.

Source: National Library of Medicine

This sleep disorder occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open while sleeping, resulting in pauses in breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to snoring, gasping, and choking while sleeping, as well as long-term health problems such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Getting treatment for sleep apnea is crucial to prevent complications.

About 20% of all car accidents and injuries are associated with excessive sleepiness.

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information 

This statistic highlights the importance of getting enough sleep to ensure our safety and the safety of others. Driving while sleepy can be as dangerous as driving under the influence. It’s important to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night to avoid feeling drowsy and decrease the risk of accidents.

Hawaii is the most sleep-deprived state.

Source: USA Today 

Hawaii is the most sleep-deprived state, according to a report by USA Today. About 55% of the adults in Hawaii report getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night, compared to the national average of 35%. Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences on our health, such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity. It’s essential to prioritize our sleep and take steps to improve our sleep hygiene.

About 50% of all insomnia cases are linked to problems such as anxiety, depression, and psychological distress.

Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness 

The inability to fall or stay asleep can significantly impact our quality of life, leading to fatigue, mood changes, and decreased productivity. If you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist to address any underlying issues and find effective treatment options.

Teenagers get an average of 6.5 to 7.5 hours of sleep each night, though most science says they should sleep between 8 and 10 hours per night.

Source: Better Health 

Sleep plays a critical role in the physical and mental development of teenagers. Lack of sleep can lead to behavioral problems, poor academic performance, and an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Parents should encourage their teenagers to prioritize sleep and establish healthy sleep habits, such as limiting screen time before bed and sticking to regular sleep schedules.

Falling asleep takes an average of 10 to 15 minutes. If you fall asleep more quickly than that, there’s a good chance you are sleep-deprived

Source: Sleep Advisor

This may seem counterintuitive, but it actually makes sense – when your body is well-rested, it takes longer to drift off because it doesn’t need as much sleep. So if you’re constantly falling asleep within a few minutes of hitting the pillow, it’s time to re-evaluate your sleep habits and make sure you’re getting enough rest.

8.9% of adults nap on a daily basis.

Source: Sleep Foundation 

While napping can be a great way to catch up on lost sleep, it’s important not to rely on it to make up for a lack of nighttime rest. Ideally, adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and only nap occasionally, when needed.

Curious about when Americans tend to get the least sleep? Around Age 40…

Source: Augusta University 

This might be due to a number of factors, such as increased stress and responsibilities at work and home, hormonal changes, or simply getting into bad sleep habits over time. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to be aware of how your sleep needs may change as you age and adjust accordingly. 

About 70 million people in the US struggle with sleep disorders.

Source: Cleveland Clinic 

From insomnia to sleep apnea, these conditions can have serious impacts on your health and well-being if left untreated. If you’re struggling with sleep, don’t hesitate to speak to a healthcare professional for help getting back on track.

Final Thoughts

These sleep statistics shed light on the importance of sleep for our health and overall well-being. As we’ve seen, sleep deprivation can have significant consequences, from impairing driving performance to increasing the risk of chronic diseases. 

It’s so important to prioritize our sleep and take steps to ensure we get enough of it each night. Whether you’re struggling with insomnia or just need to establish healthy sleep habits, there are resources and support available to help you achieve better sleep and, ultimately, better health.

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Rebekah Pierce

Rebekah Pierce is a professional writer specializing in a variety of niches, including health and fitness. Her unique blend of experience managing and owning a regenerative farm, along with a background working in both secondary and higher education, gives her the versatility needed to write about a variety of topics. She has a B.A. in English and a M.S.Ed. in Special Education. She's an avid runner, having completed multiple marathons and half marathons, and believes in the profound power of overall health, wellness, and good nutrition when it comes to changing lives!