Alaska Sleep Education Center

How America Sleeps: Part 1

Posted by National Sleep Foundation Poll Results on Sep 19, 2018 1:08:10 PM

Since 1991, the National Sleep Foundation has conducted a national poll cataloging the state of sleep in America.  The Sleep in America®poll provides valuable information to the general public and sleep community on specific topics of interest such as: Children and Sleep, Women and Sleep, and Technology and Sleep.  We encourage everyone to prioritize their sleep for better health.

In March of this year, The National Sleep Foundation's annual poll shows that Americans are FAILING to make sleep a priority in our lives.  Here are the details:

The National Sleep Foundation’s annual Sleep in America® poll  finds that among U.S. adults with excellent sleep health, nearly 90% say they feel very effective at getting things done each day, compared to only 46% of those with poor sleep health (see exhibit A). The study also shows that only 10% of American adults prioritize their sleep over other aspects of daily living such as fitness/nutrition, work, social life, and hobbies/personal interests (see exhibit B).


2018 Sleep In America Exhibit A

Exhibit A: Overall Sleep Health Index scores were split into four equally sized groups (referred to here as excellent, good, fair, and poor sleepers) and crossed with responses to how people feel in terms of getting things done each day (options: extremely, highly, very, somewhat, and not so effective).  The chart represents the percent of respondents who reported feeling ‘very’ or more effective in each group.

“The data are clear: Good sleepers realize the benefits of a good night’s sleep and see themselves as more effective at getting things done the following day.  It’s therefore disappointing to see so few people actually prioritizing their sleep,” said Maurice Ohayon, MD, DSC, PhD, Director of the Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Center and Chair of the National Sleep Foundation’s Population Health and Methodology Council.


Sleep In America Exhibit B

Exhibit B: When asked which of five items was most important to them personally, 35% said fitness/nutrition, 27% said their work, 17% said hobbies/personal interests, 10% said sleep, and 9% said their social life.

The 2018 Sleep in America poll finds that a majority of the public (65%) says that getting enough sleep makes them a more effective person, yet 41% admit to rarely taking into account how much sleep they need in planning for the next day.

“This is exactly what I see in my practice every day,” responded Dr. Joseph Ojile, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “People, from children to adults, are consistently over-scheduled. They are not getting enough sleep because they do not block out enough time for it.”

Foundation’s quarterly Sleep Health Index ® showed little change in the nation’s sleep health, with the overall score remaining at a strong 76 out of 100.  The greatest shift was seen in one aspect of sleep duration, with American adults getting more weekday sleep. The Sleep Health Index results are not all good, though, as sleep quality remains at a disappointing 67.

Sleep & Effectiveness are Linked, but Few Plan Their Sleep A majority of American adults (65%) think sleep contributes to next day effectiveness. Great sleepers realize the benefit, yet only 10% of people prioritize it over other aspects of daily living.

A new Sleep in America® poll by the National Sleep Foundation finds that individuals with the healthiest sleep habits are far more likely than poor sleepers to rate themselves as effective at getting things done. And the public largely recognizes the link: About two-thirds also say that getting enough sleep makes them a more effective person. Yet many don’t take advantage of the connection between sleep and personal effectiveness. Only one in 10, for example, calls sleep their top priority compared with other items – below physical fitness, work and hobbies, and essentially the same as socializing.

Most Americans, moreover, don’t take into account how much sleep they’ll need when planning for the next day.  The Sleep in America study is an annual exploration of attitudes on sleep and sleep-related topics. It was conducted this year in conjunction with the Foundation’s Sleep Health Index, a quarterly survey that summarizes measures of sleep quality, sleep duration and disordered sleep.

The index stands at 76 on its 0-100 scale, matching its average the past two years. That reflects relatively strong scores on sleep duration and disordered sleep, but middling levels of sleep quality. (Previous National Sleep Foundation studies have shown that sleep health is strongly connected with overall health, stress and life satisfaction. This survey adds personal effectiveness to the list.

If you or a loved one has sleep issues you think may be related to sleep apnea, call Alaska Sleep Clinic today for your free sleep assessment.

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About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice.


About the Sleep in America ® Poll

The Sleep in America poll is the National Sleep Foundation’s premier annual review of specific sleep topics in America.  The poll was first conducted in 1991 and was most recently produced by Langer Research Associates. The 2018 poll, administered alongside the Sleep Health Index, explored how people prioritize their sleep, and how they understand its importance in accomplishing daily activities (doi:10.1016/j.sleh.2018.02.007).


About the Sleep Health Index ®

The Sleep Health Index is a quarterly fielded, nationally representative survey of American adults; it tracks trends and chronicles our nation’s sleep health over time. 

The full report of results was produced by Langer Research Associates.  For more information on the methodology, go to the National Sleep Foundation’s website or refer to the Sleep Health Journal (doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2017.05.011).

Topics: sleep habits

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