We spend about a third of our lives asleep… at least we’re supposed to. Sleep helps our body relax, our brain recharge, and our systems restore daily wear and tear. We all know we’re supposed to get about 8 hours of sleep per night, but most of us don’t exactly make it a priority. So let’s take a quick dip into the dark side of sleep: what is putting sleep on the back burner really doing to us?
11% of all US adults report insufficient sleep every night.
4% of adults self-report “nodding off” while driving within the last week.
The national average sleep duration for US adults is 6.8 hours, with lower SES populations getting less than people in higher SES brackets.
42% of single parents report getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night.
40%+ of working adults said they unintentionally fall asleep in the middle of the day at least 1x per month.
3% of teenagers get the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
60%+ of college students don’t get enough sleep per night.
Sleep deprivation costs over $400 billion and 1.2 million in lost work time each year.
50 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder.
Insufficient sleep causes immediate adverse cognitive symptoms. If you haven’t slept enough the night before, the following day you’ll have issues with focusing, learning, memory, and emotional control.
Almost 20% of all automobile accidents are directly-related to tiredness.
Chronic poor sleep raises your risk for developing dementias later in life.
Chronic insufficient sleep raises your risk of obesity.
Poor sleep can cause long-term damage to cognition, learning and impulse control, and can make it difficult to adapt to change.
People in the military are 34% more likely to report chronic problems with sleep than people who’ve never been in the military.
Just because you’re not doing anything when you’re sleeping doesn’t mean nothing’s getting done. When you decide not to prioritize your sleep, you’re deciding not to prioritize yourself and your wellbeing. Nobody likes feeling drowsy all the time – it’s not safe and it hurt productivity. But even more importantly, sleep deprivation takes away your body’s chance to restore, repair, relax, and reboot each night, which causes long-term physical and cognitive damage. It’s just not worth chancing it.
Is it time to start focusing on getting better sleep? Check out these resources for more sleep statistics:
And tips on how to help yourself sleep better: