Sleep Facts And Statistics For 2022

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
July 28, 2022
|
7
min read

Proper rest is essential for proper cognitive function and maintaining your physical health, yet more than a third of people in the United States experience sleep issues. 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 can impact people of all ages, from high school students to individuals well into their seventies. 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. 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.

  • 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. 
  • People spend an average of two hours dreaming per night. 
  • Typical sleep durations go through four stages of sleep: awake, light, deep, and REM sleep.
  • A large percentage of adults (54.1%) prefer the fetal sleep position, while 35.7% of the total population like sleeping on their back, despite back sleeping being the healthier option overall.
  • Healthy individuals experience about 4-6 dreams per night, but about 95-99% of those dreams are completely forgotten upon waking up. 
  • As people get their hours of sleep in, their body temperature drops roughly 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • During NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep, your body's metabolism will slow by about 15%. 
  • Sleep position varies widely throughout the population. 54.1% of sleepers prefer resting on their side, while 37.5% sleep on their back, and 7.3% rest on their stomach
  • 40% of women and roughly 57% of men snore while sleeping.
  • 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 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.

  • Women have a higher risk of experiencing insufficient sleep or insomnia at about 40% higher than men.
  • According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one-third of American adults aren't getting the proper amount of sleep per night. This was reflected in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 
  • Roughly half of pregnant women struggle with getting sufficient sleep. They are also more likely to experience insomnia-like symptoms. 
  • The quality of sleep among adults who are married and unmarried differs quite a bit. Married adults report achieving a healthy sleep duration 67% of the time, while unmarried individuals are at 62%. On the other hand, adults who were divorced, widowed, or separated struggled more with getting proper hours of sleep at 56%. 
  • Adults 40 and over struggle with sleep disruptions leading to bathroom breaks. 69% of men and 76% of women over the age of 40 report going to the bathroom at least once during sleeping hours.

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. Here are a few of the facts:

  • 2-9% of adults in the United States suffer from 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.
  • A small slice of adults over 40 years old (.9%) 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. 
  • Data from 2016 states that roughly 5% of younger children and 1.5% of healthy adults have experienced a sleepwalking episode. 
  • Roughly 7 out of 10 adults struggle with getting adequate sleep at night. 
  • 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. 
  • Folks who suffer from insomnia are much more likely to experience work-related accidents (like drowsy driving and general fatigue from lack of sleep) than people who get good-quality sleep. 
  • According to the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project, a large portion of the adult population in the United States now experience obstructive sleep apnea. Roughly 25 million adults struggle with OSA-related sleep issues. 

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. 

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. 50% more women use sleep trackers regularly compared to 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. 
  • Exercise can help people break through daytime sleepiness due to sleep deprivation. One study asserts that roughly 75 minutes of intense exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week can keep general grogginess away during the day and improves overall concentration.
  • 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%. 
  • Some adults in the United States prefer using smartphone apps to track their sleep, with one study putting the number at 28.2%.
  • 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. 
  • One study of 31 over-the-counter melatonin supplements found that 71% of them were not within the dosage on the bottle. Instead, the actual melatonin content of these supplements were found to be anywhere 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 16-20 hours of sleep per day. This sleep requirement is usually fulfilled through a combination of naps and shorter sleeping sessions. Newborns spend from 16 to 20 hours asleep each day. 
  • 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 12 hours of sleep.
  • Adolescent individuals from ages 14 to 17 need a little less sleep than younger children. Specifically, they’ll need about 9 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 requirement. 
  • According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, 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.

Conclusion

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 furnish 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!