Sleep Deprivation Statistics You Should Know About

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
July 28, 2022
min read

Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is crucial to your health. When you get enough hours of sleep per night, you wake up feeling rested and refreshed for everyday activities. Sadly, many people have sleep problems, endure poor-quality sleep, or simply get insufficient sleep hours. This can have both a short and long-term negative impact on your mental and physical health, 

Read on to learn basic facts and statistics about sleep among adults, how many people get insufficient sleep, and how this sleep debt can affect you. These will show you the depth of sleeping problems in America and may encourage you to develop better sleep habits!

What statistics are on this list?

General Sleep Deprivation Statistics

Here are some general statistics about adults and insufficient sleep in the United States:

  • Nearly half of all Americans report feelings of daytime sleepiness anywhere between three to seven days out of the week.
  • Over 35% of all American adults say they get less than seven hours of sleep every night.
  • 40% of people aged 40 to 59 report getting less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep.
  • 37% of adults aged between 20 and 39 reported having short sleep durations.
  • Hawaii has the highest percentage of adults who sleep seven or fewer hours nightly on a regular basis, at 43%. At 26%, South Dakota has the lowest percentage of adults with sleep deprivation.
  • Out of all the major American cities, Detroit, Michigan, and Camden, New Jersey tie for the highest rate of adults who sleep less than seven hours every night at 49.8%. Boulder, Colorado has the lowest rate of short sleep among adults at 24.2%.
  • 42.6% of single parents don't get sufficient sleep, reporting that they sleep seven or fewer hours a night. 32.7% of adults in two-parent households don't get sufficient sleep, saying they sleep seven or fewer hours every night, compared to 31% of adults who don't have any children.
  • Ethnicity and race play a role in rates of insufficient sleep among adults, with 46.3% of Native Hawaiians (a.k.a. Pacific Islanders) reporting the highest rate of sleep deprivation. Non-Hispanic blacks come in second with 45.8% saying they sleep less than seven hours nightly. 40.4% of American Indians and Alaskan natives, 37.5% of Asians, 34.5% of all Hispanics, and 33.4% of non-Hispanic whites report sleeping less than seven hours nightly.
  • Compared to white adults, black adults are nearly twice as likely to describe suffering from a lack of adequate sleep. They are also 60% more likely to say they overslept the previous night. 
  • Active duty service members are 34% more likely to report getting insufficient sleep, compared to adults who have no military service record. 

Health and Sleep Deprivation Statistics

Your sleep problem is also a health problem! Here are some shocking statistics showing the effects of sleep deprivation on our physical and mental health.

  • Around 75% of all adults with depression report suffering from insomnia.
  • Nearly 23% of the US population claims that suffering from chronic sleep deprivation caused them to develop depression.
  • In a study conducted amongst 2,800 respondents with depression, 97% reported experiencing sleep difficulties during a depressive episode. 59% of these respondents claimed that poor sleep had a significant impact on their quality of life. The majority of these respondents also indicated that their sleep problems started at around the same time as their depression.
  • Approximately 40% of adults who have insomnia are believed to also suffer from a mental health disorder.
  • 50% to 80% of patients with psychiatric conditions report suffering from chronic sleep problems, compared to 10% to 18% of adults in the general population.
  • Over 90% of people who have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) connected to military service and combat have insomnia.
  • 3% to 5% of obesity in adults could be due to a lack of sleep.
  • People who sleep fewer than six hours a night have a 20% higher chance of a heart attack.
  • In a study conducted amongst 32,000 adults with an average age of 62, the risk of having a stroke was 25% higher among those who took midday naps for at least 90 minutes. Long naps are frequently taken by sleep-deprived adults in an attempt to compensate for lack of sleep.

Job Performance And Sleep Deprivation Statistics

A lack of sleep among adults in the workforce has negatively impacted their job performance. This accumulates over states and has a serious effect on the national economy. Here are some basic figures showing the job performance consequences of sleep disorders and deprivation.

  • If people who sleep less than 6 hours got an extra hour or two of sleep, they would add up to $226.4 billion back to the U.S. economy.
  • Nearly 20% of all automobile crashes, accidents, and injuries are connected to sleepiness.
  • Drowsy driving is responsible for over 6,000 fatal crashes every year in America.
  • The lack of sleep among adults in the American workforce costs approximately $411 billion and results in a loss of 1.2 million working days every year.

Children and Sleep Deprivation Statistics

Children need more sleep than adults for their physical and mental development. Suffering from a sleep-related problem can affect their well-being. 

Check these statistics to see how much more sleep they need, and the consequences of poor sleep for children.

  • Babies need 12 to 17 hours of sleep every day depending on their age, while toddlers need 11 to 14 hours of sleep.
  • 25% of young children suffer from daytime sleepiness or have sleeping problems.
  • Up to 70% of children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) suffer from mild to severe sleeping problems.
  • 72.7% of high schoolers get less than the recommended amount of sleep for their age group, compared to 57.8% of middle schoolers. School-age children are recommended to get nine to 11 hours of sleep.

College Students' Sleep Statistics

Sleep deprivation can severely harm academic performance, yet college students maintain short, unhealthy sleep patterns. Here are some basic college students' sleep statistics.

  • Most college students suffer from sleep deprivation. Over 70% of students report a sleep duration of fewer than eight hours every night.
  • 60% of students report that at least three days a week, they feel tired, sleepy, or dragging.
  • College students are one of the biggest demographics to suffer from daytime sleepiness, which is a consequence of sleep deprivation. 50% of college students report having daytime sleepiness, compared to 36% of adults and adolescents.
  • 82% of college students believe that partial sleep deprivation and sleepiness affect their academic performance. 

FAQs About Sleep Deprivation Statistics

Which age group is the most sleep-deprived?

A study conducted by the National Foundation found that teens and college students have the highest rates of sleep deprivation. This study, conducted between 1991 and 2012, found that 85% of those aged 15 and older slept fewer than seven hours every night.

What are the negative effects of sleep deprivation?

Constant sleep deprivation can contribute to long-term health issues. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation makes it more likely for a person to have a stroke or a heart attack. A lack of sleep among adults and children has also been linked to anxiety, depression, heart disease, and even higher rates of obesity.

The higher your sleep debt, the worse the effect on your health. If you suffer from any of these illnesses or want to prevent developing them in the future, start improving your sleep hygiene for high-quality, sufficient sleep.

How many hours should we be sleeping to get adequate sleep?

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults from the ages of 18 to 60 should have seven to nine hours of sleep every night.