Sleep Facts And Statistics For 2023
Proper rest is essential for proper cognitive function and maintaining your physical health, yet one in three U.S. adults don’t get enough sleep. What's more, consistently poor sleep quality can exacerbate risk factors associated with common sleep disorders, making it even harder to get the rest you need.
Insufficient sleep impacts people of all ages, from high school students to individuals well into their seventies, or beyond. That's why it's essential to understand the prevalence of sleep disorders and how a long list of factors can influence a lack of sleep. But how do you quantify sleep so that you can understand it better?
The answer is statistics. Numbers can tell us a lot about the ins and outs of sleep and why it’s easier to get it at some times than others.
Keep reading to learn more about sleep, how it works, and how widespread insufficient sleep and chronic insomnia are in the United States.
What statistics are on this list?
- General sleep statistics
- Sleep deprivation statistics
- Sleep disorders statistics
- Sleep and mental health statistics
- Sleep hygiene statistics
- Sleep aid statistics
- Sleep needs by age
General Sleep Statistics And Data
Understanding how the average person experiences sleep provides unique insight into how our bodies rest and recuperate. Here are a few facts about sleep.
- Our sleep needs change as we age, with infants needing the most sleep (16-18 hours) and senior adults needing 7 hours or less.
- Healthy adults spend roughly 20-25% of their total time asleep in the REM phase.
- Sleepers will experience four to six complete sleep cycles during slumber.
- Humans have an innate circadian rhythm that naturally determines when people feel sleepy or alert. Part of maintaining a sufficient sleep schedule is staying in tune with your natural rhythms.
- It’s hard to know how long people spend dreaming each night, as dream recall varies by person and can diminish as we age.
- Typical sleep durations go through four stages of sleep: awake, light, deep, and REM sleep.
- Side sleeping is the most popular position (54.1%), with older people and those with an increased BMI more likely to spend time sleeping on their side. Sleeping on the back (37.5%) and on the stomach (7.3%) aren’t as common.
- Our body temperature drops roughly 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit as we fall asleep, which researchers think may help us to more easily drop into dreamland.
- In Non-REM sleep, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure may slow down, but they can increase again or even become erratic during the REM sleep stage, which more closely mirrors our waking body behaviors.
- 40% of women and roughly 57% of men snore while sleeping, but these numbers are only a guess since snoring may go unnoticed by a sleeper or their sleeping partner.
- More than half of people talk in their sleep at some point in their lives, with one study putting the exact number at 66%. However, the same study reports that only 17% of people have done so in the last three months.
Sleep Deprivation Statistics
A large portion of high school-aged students and adults experience sleep deprivation and the detrimental effects that come with it, like excessive sleepiness and tiredness. While chronic sleep deprivation may not entirely be a medical disorder, it's crucial to understand how widespread the problem is.
- It takes just one night of poor sleep to have an effect, including a bad mood, a lack of productivity, or an increased risk of being in a motor vehicle accident.
- Poor sleep can lead to many health issues, including an increased risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, declining mental health, and early death.
- Females are more likely than males to experience insufficient sleep.
- The number of adults who aren’t getting enough sleep haven’t changed much in the past seven years.
- One in three American adults isn't getting the proper amount of sleep per night.
Sleep Disorders Statistics
Sleep disorders are medical conditions that interfere with a person's ability to get sufficient sleep. Not to be confused with sleep deprivation (which is the result of lifestyle choices and obligations), sleep disorders are usually uncontrollable and need to be treated by a medical professional.
These disorders are increasingly common in the United States and contribute to the large numbers of adults who aren’t getting proper sleep.
Here are a few of the facts:
- 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder.
- In the U.S., 25-30% of men and 9-17% of women meet the criteria for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a modified definition of the condition. This happens when the muscles supporting the tissues within a person's airway relax, narrowing and temporarily obstructing breathing. As women near age 50, they are just as likely as men to develop the condition.
- A small slice of mostly men over 50 (2.7%) suffer from central sleep apnea or CSA. A person has central sleep apnea when their breathing starts and stops several times while sleeping. This is because their brains don't send the correct signals to the rest of their bodies.
- Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that affects between 135,000 and 200,000 people in the United States. People with this condition experience overwhelming daytime sleepiness and "sleep attacks" during the day.
- Getting up in the night more than one time to use the bathroom is called “nocturia,” and this condition affects one in three adults over the age 30.
- Data from 2016 states that roughly 5% of younger children and 1.5% of healthy adults have experienced a sleepwalking episode. Children are more likely to sleepwalk if their parents did.
- One study on sleep disorders reported 6-8% of participants indicating that they experienced "sexsomnia". This referred to the act of waking up in the middle of the night to get intimate with a partner.
- Adult drivers who snore or usually sleep 6 or fewer hours per day reported falling asleep while driving more often than those who don’t snore and get enough sleep. In 2020, 633 deaths were attributed to drowsy driving, but these numbers could total 6,000 or more.
Read more on sleep apnea statistics.
Sleep And Mental Health Statistics
Sleep and mental health are intimately connected, with daily stressors generally being credited for most instances of sleep deprivation and the development of sleep disorders. That said, their relationship is more cyclical than causal.
For example, oversleeping or undersleeping can result from underlying mental health issues, but lacking sleep can also exacerbate an individual’s depression or anxiety.
- The majority of adults with depression (around 75%) also suffer from insomnia.
- Adults who report interrupted sleep also experience a 31% reduction in positive moods the next day.
- About 40% of people with insomnia, or insomnia-like symptoms, tend to be affected by a mental health disorder.
- War veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) due to military combat also tend to experience symptoms of insomnia.
Sleep Hygiene Statistics
Sleep hygiene refers to all the choices people make around sleep. This can include their environment, bedtime, their “nighttime ritual”, and whether a person enforces specific rules. Good sleep hygiene is characterized by routines that support quality sleep, while bad hygiene usually lacks structure and regularity.
Other seemingly unrelated sleep hygiene factors are the consumption of alcohol and caffeine alongside exercise timing. Many people also use sleep trackers to measure if they’re getting enough sleep.
- According to Statista, women are 50% more likely to use sleep trackers than men.
- The same data set from Statista reports that 10% of adults use sleep trackers regularly, while 12% use them occasionally, and 30% of adults were against the idea of using a sleep tracker altogether.
- Alcohol consumption has a marked impact on sleep quality. Consuming over two servings per day for men and one serving per day for women can decrease sleep quality by nearly 40%.
- Sleep tracking apps were the second most popular health-related app purchased in 2022, with 34% of those in a recent survey having purchased them.
- Caffeine has a half-life of five hours in healthy adults, which means that roughly half of all consumed caffeine will be used up by the body in five hours.
Sleep Aid Statistics
Because sleep deprivation and sleep-related disorders have become so prevalent in the United States, more individuals are using sleep aids to get proper rest. Here are a few of the facts and stats about sleep aids like melatonin supplements.
- A majority of people (80%) who use prescription sleep medications experience side effects that roll into the next day. Specifically, they report instances of oversleeping, general grogginess or having trouble concentrating for hours after they wake up.
- Melatonin supplements are often used to promote sleep, but studies have found that those products may contain between -83% and +478% of their listed dosage.
Sleep Needs By Age
Sleep is important for people of all ages, but different life stages have distinct sleep requirements. Here’s a concise rundown of how children, adults, and older individuals' sleep needs differ.
- Newborn babies require roughly 14-17 hours of sleep per day. This sleep requirement is usually fulfilled through a combination of naps and shorter sleeping sessions.
- As babies cross into their first year of life, they’ll start to require less sleep. Children from one to four years old need 11 to 16 hours of sleep.
- Adolescent individuals from ages 14 to 17 need a little less sleep than younger children. Specifically, they’ll need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep to function at optimal levels, although they may not necessarily get enough time to rest. Instead, many teens take a nap during waking hours to fulfill their sleep requirements.
- Adults aged 18 to 60 years need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night. While some people may be able to function on less sleep, stretching it into 7 or more promotes optimal physical and mental health.
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Sleep is essential to a happy and healthy life, but many people struggle with getting the proper amount of rest per night. This can be attributed to stress, mental health issues, or sleep disorders that may be difficult to manage on your own.
However, there are things you can do to achieve better sleep more consistently, like furnishing your bedroom with a mattress that guarantees a more comfortable rest. That’s where Purple can help. Check out our mattress selection to get the rest you deserve!