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15 Statistics About Sleep that Should Concern You

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

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?

15 Scary Sleep Stats to Keep You Up at Night

  1. 11% of all US adults report insufficient sleep every night.

  2. 4% of adults self-report “nodding off” while driving within the last week.

  3. The national average sleep duration for US adults is 6.8 hours, with lower SES populations getting less than people in higher SES brackets.

  4. 42% of single parents report getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night.

  5. 40%+ of working adults said they unintentionally fall asleep in the middle of the day at least 1x per month.

  6. 3% of teenagers get the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep per night.

  7. 60%+ of college students don’t get enough sleep per night.

  8. Sleep deprivation costs over $400 billion and 1.2 million in lost work time each year.

  9. 50 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder.

  10. 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.

  11. Almost 20% of all automobile accidents are directly-related to tiredness.

  12. Chronic poor sleep raises your risk for developing dementias later in life.

  13. Chronic insufficient sleep raises your risk of obesity.

  14. Poor sleep can cause long-term damage to cognition, learning and impulse control, and can make it difficult to adapt to change.

  15. People in the military are 34% more likely to report chronic problems with sleep than people who’ve never been in the military.

Why is Sleep So Important?

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.

Some problems that can arise when you don’t get quality sleep long-term include:

  • Increased risk of heart disease and stroke

  • Increased risk of diabetes and obesity

  • Weakened immune system

  • Increased risk of depression and anxiety

  • Irritability

  • Problems with learning and memory

  • Impairs coordination, judgment and reaction time

So, how can we avoid becoming a scary sleep statistic?

5 Ways to Improve Your Sleep Health

Achieving quality sleep requires several variables come together – and many are variables you have complete control of; you just need to stay aware and mindful.

1. Keep a consistent sleep schedule.

Your circadian rhythm is a real thing, and so is your sleep cycle. By keeping a consistent bedtime routine, you can train your body and mind to unwind at the same time each night, which will teach your body that, at a certain time each day, it can start its chemical processes that help you go to sleep.

2. No screens for at least 30 minutes before bed.

Blue light disrupts melatonin production and TV is a stimulant. Maybe your comfort show or Wordle habit helps you unwind mentally, but it’s not doing you any favors when it comes to the physical processes that help you sleep well.

3. Don’t eat late at night.

Your digestive system is supposed to rest during the night so your body can direct resources to places that need restoration. If you eat close to bedtime, your digestive system will be hard at work, which can keep you up.

4. Exercise regularly.

Not only does exercise improve pretty much all aspects of your health, it also helps keep your sleep/wake cycle in check. As well, being sedentary can cause sleep problems simply because you didn’t expend enough energy that day. Exercise gives your body a reason to rest and restore.

5. Make sure your mattress is tailored to your needs.

Mattresses aren’t one-size-fits-all situations. People need different firmness, different material, different size and shape. If your mattress doesn’t fit you correctly, it’s likely hurting the rest of your sleep efforts.

A custom mattress can help you sleep more soundly. Need a bed that’s extra-firm? We’ve got you. A latex mattress that’s hypoallergenic? Check. A memory foam mattress that fits a semi bed? Yup. Consider switching out your standard retail mattress for a custom one with tailored Egyptian cotton bedding. You’d be amazed what a difference it can make.

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:


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