48 Surprising Sleep Statistics & Facts to Know in 2021

Sleep Statistics

We all know how important sleep is for our health. In fact, it is just as important as nutrition and regular exercise. And yet, people all around the world are not getting enough sleep.

Notably, most information we have about sleep has only been discovered in the last 25 years, and scientists are constantly making discoveries about the physiology and the pathology of sleep. Following that, we would love to offer you the latest sleep statistics and facts. Keep reading to find out more!

Top 10 Sleep Statistics for 2021

  • 68% of Americans struggle with sleep at least once a week.
  • 12% of people dream only in black and white.
  • Most adults need 7–9 hours of sleep, as per sleep statistics.
  • Around 68% of children sleep with devices in their bedrooms.
  • Sleep paralysis statistics report that 25% of people are affected by sleep paralysis.
  • Study participants with COVID-19 showed a 74.8% insomnia rate.
  • We spend one-third of our lives sleeping.
  • Snoring stats prove that 44% of men and 28% of women aged 30–60 snore.
  • People have 3–5 dreams every night, as per sleep stats.
  • 70 million people in the US have sleep disorders.

Vital Sleep Facts and Stats

Sleep is undoubtedly crucial for our overall wellbeing, as a good night’s sleep recharges the body, allowing you to wake up fresh and ready to take on the day ahead. Read on to discover the most astounding findings.

1. Most adults need 7–9 hours of sleep, as per sleep statistics.

(National Sleep Foundation)

That refers to those aged 18–64. Moreover, people over the age of 64 need 7–8 hours of sleep. Notably, 35.2% of all adults in the US report sleeping for less than seven hours a night, which is, as we’ve learned, too little.

2. Each body part experiences changes during sleep, according to sleep facts.

(National Sleep Foundation)

At that time, thousands of brain neurons transfer from waking to a sleeping state and send signals throughout your body. Moreover, your heart rate slows down, and muscles relax. Also, REM sleep facts uncover that in non-REM sleep, brain waves slow down significantly, whereas, in REM sleep, brain activity accelerates.

3. 12% of people dream only in black and white.

(Dreams)

Researchers found that before the invention of color television, only 15% of people had dreamt in color, and all of the others had dreamt in black and white. Also, recent sleep studies have revealed that older people dream in black and white more often than young ones.

4. We spend one-third of our lives sleeping.

(Cleveland Clinic)

Moreover, fun facts about sleep disclose that we tend to go to bed later and sleep less in the days leading up to a full moon. Another interesting piece of data is that tiredness has two peaks—2 a.m. and 2 p.m, which is why we’re less alert after lunch.

5. Sleep facts reveal that we all need different nap times.

(Sleep)

For one, babies up to a year old need 2–4 naps a day. Toddlers and preschoolers need to nap daily, too. As for adults, they should keep their naps 15–30 minutes long. Interestingly, some of the benefits of naps for adults are: better focus, improved mood, lowered blood pressure, and reduced fatigue.

Sleep Disorders Statistics

Generally speaking, sleep disorders are referred to as chronic sleep conditions that affect your life quality. While sleeping for less than seven hours increases accident risk, it can also lead to diabetes, decreased immunity, and heart disease. Keep reading to stay up-to-date.

Number of Americans Affected by Sleep Disorders

Source: Casper

6. There are approximately 80 different sleep disorders.

(Cleveland Clinic)

How many sleeping disorders are there, you might ask. There are 80 sleep disorders. Of them, the most common ones are sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome. Factors causing sleep disorders are medical, physical, environmental, genetic, and psychiatric.

7. 70 million people in the US have sleep disorders.

(Cleveland Clinic)

Now that you know how many people have sleep disorders, it is equally important to learn that over 100 million Americans don’t get sufficient sleep. As we know, sleep is crucial, and not getting enough of it can affect your work and school performance, health and safety, and interpersonal relationships.

8. Some people commit crimes while asleep, facts about sleep reveal.

(Better Sleep)

One of the more unusual sleep disorders is a parasomnia. It makes one move unnaturally while asleep. As a matter of fact, documented crimes committed during sleepwalking range from minor offenses to severe crimes like murder.

9. Around 10%–30% of the world’s population suffer from insomnia.

(NCBI) (SHSO)

The most common sleep disorder is insomnia. Some studies suggest that the percentage of people with insomnia is much higher, and it stands at 50%–60%. Notably, the most affected demographic groups are older people, women, and people with physical and mental health issues.

10. About 30% of American adults have short-term insomnia, based on insomnia statistics

(The Recovery Village) (National Sleep Foundation)

That is insomnia which lasts for less than three months. On the other hand, chronic insomnia is defined as having trouble falling or staying asleep at least three nights a week for at least three months. Notably, approximately 10% of people in the US have chronic insomnia.

11. Women are 40% more likely to have insomnia than men.

(National Sleep Foundation)

Insomnia can affect anyone and at any time, and certain factors may increase that risk. The reason why women are more prone to insomnia than men lies in hormonal differences. More specifically, women sleep less because they deal with bloating and cramps during menstruation, restless leg syndrome during pregnancy, and hot flashes during menopause.

12. Snoring stats prove that 44% of men and 28% of women aged 30–60 snore.

(Very Well Health)

Nearly everyone has snored at some point in their lives. It may not seem like a sleep disorder, but if snoring occurs, it’s possible that the throat or nose are obstructed. Besides, if the air passage is completely blocked, it may lead to a more severe disorder—sleep apnea (commonly treated with the use of CPAP machines). Some of the reasons for snoring include obesity, allergies, enlarged tonsils, and hypothyroidism.

13. Around 80% of people with sleep apnea aren’t diagnosed, as per sleep apnea statistics.

(Gregory Sexton DDS)

Sleep apnea happens when a person stops breathing for a few seconds during the night. In fact, it occurs when the brain fails to initiate a breath, which is called central sleep apnea. It can also happen when the airflow is obstructed by mucus and other fluids, making it difficult to breathe, a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Astoundingly, around 22 million Americans have sleep apnea.

14. The continuous positive airway pressure device market is growing by 7.2% every year.

(Market Research)

According to the latest research and sleep apnea statistics, the CPAP device market is currently worth somewhere around $4.3 billion, and it’s growing year after year. As has been noted, the market has great potential since more and more people are diagnosed with sleep apnea.

15. Sleep paralysis statistics report that 25% of people are affected by sleep paralysis.

(Very Well Health)

Sleep paralysis can be awful and frightening. In fact, it happens when you’re transitioning from being awake to being asleep, or vice versa. Moreover, sleep paralysis facts prove that those affected are temporarily unable to move, and there are often horrific hallucinations. Also, sleep paralysis can be a symptom of narcolepsy.

16. Up to 50% of children experience a sleeping disorder at some point, as per sleep disorder statistics.

(National Sleep Foundation)

Children’s sleep disorders are also common. Some of them are snoring, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, night terrors and nightmares, sleep talking, and sleepwalking. Moreover, what might seem trivial to us, like a change in schedule or teething, may take a toll on children’s sleep.

17. Sleeping disorders statistics remark that 7%–10% of the American population may have RLS.

(NINDS)

Restless legs syndrome, or RLS, is an uncomfortable feeling in the legs that triggers the urge to move them. The symptoms usually occur in the late afternoon or evening but are most severe at night when a person is resting (sitting or lying in bed).

18. Sleep terrors affect nearly 40% of children, according to sleep facts and statistics.

(Mayo Clinic)

Night terrors usually occur when a person is still asleep. Symptoms involve violent movements, screaming, and intense fear. Even though they are frightening, sleep terrors aren’t a cause for concern, and most children outgrow them by their teen years. Be that as it may, they may require treatment if they lead to insufficient sleep or pose a safety risk.

19. During the peak of COVID-19 in China, 20% of study participants experienced clinically significant insomnia. 

(NCBI)

An online survey was conducted to evaluate insomnia, depression, anxiety, and acute stress during the COVID-19 peak (early to mid-February 2020). Notably, it’s among the first studies that document insomnia and other psychological symptoms brought about by the pandemic. Now, its conclusion reveals important insomnia statistics. Namely, the study found that 15.8% of those surveyed felt acute stress, 18.5% experienced anxiety, and 24.5% experienced depression.

20. A 74.8% insomnia rate was marked in those infected with COVID-19.

(JCSM)

Study participants from 13 countries took part in a study on sleep problems during the pandemic. Following other sleep statistics worldwide for 2020, the study emphasized the 35.7% prevalence rate of sleep problems. What’s more, among health care workers, the rate of sleep problems stood at 36%.

Sleep Deprivation Stats

Driving when sleep-deprived is as dangerous as driving under the influence. Not only that, but sleep deprivation can actually increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and cancer. If you are interested in learning more, read on.

Source: Statista

21. 35% of adults in the US are sleep-deprived.

(American Thoracic Society)

How common is sleep deprivation in the US, one might wonder. Statistics point out that it is, in fact, very common.

In a nutshell, sleep deprivation means getting less than seven hours of sleep per night. When that is the case, the body can’t function well, and it can’t replenish itself during the night. This puts one at risk of developing diabetes, among many other diseases.

22. Sleep statistics indicate that 11 days is the record for the longest period without sleep.

(Dreams)

In 1964 Randy Garner conducted sleep deprivation experiments and set the Guinness World Record. That said, scary facts about sleep affirm that many other people have died staying awake for that long.

23. Sleep-related accidents in workplaces cost $31 billion a year.

(IMPO)

Lack of sleep is a public health epidemic, and sleep deprivation is responsible for 274,000 workplace accidents and errors each year, based on sleep deprivation stats. Namely, 73% of employees from the manufacturing sector say fatigue is to blame for their productivity decrease, and 44% reported that fatigue was responsible for accidents at work.

24. There’s a link between how much you weigh and how much you sleep.

(Harvard T. H. Chan)

People who are sleep deprived have less energy and, because of that, they are often too tired to exercise. They also consume more calories since they are awake for longer. Facts about sleep deprivation emphasize that sleep deprivation disrupts the balance of hormones that control appetite. In other words, people who suffer from sleep deprivation tend to be hungrier.

25. Sleep deprivation was used as a form of punishment.

(Consumer Reports)

Facts about sleep deprivation find that Hippolytus de Marsiliis, an Italian lawyer, was the first man to document sleep deprivation as a way of punishing prisoners in the 15th century. In brief, he merely confirmed what people have known for ages—not getting enough sleep is indeed torture.

26. Over 50% of college students suffer from sleep deprivation, as per sleep statistics for college students.

(Sleep Advisor)

The majority of college students are only getting 6–6.9 hours of sleep per night. Keeping these college student sleep statistics in mind, we should also note that one’s major plays a significant role in getting enough sleep. For instance, medical students suffer the most from insufficient sleep. Also, Brown University’s statistical study on sleeping has shown that female students suffer from insomnia more than male students.

27. Sleep deprivation affects the academic performance of one in four students.

(College Express)

The latest college students’ sleep statistics show that sleep deprivation also affects memory, increases the risk of getting sick, and impairs social skills, leading to poor academic performance. All in all, prolonged sleep deprivation in college students will exert its adverse effects eventually.

28. 30–50% of college students take naps regularly, as per sleep deprivation in college students statistics.

(Sleep Advisor)

Despite the fact that most college students nap regularly, this doesn’t tackle their sleep deprivation. In other words, napping during the day only makes one stay awake longer and sleep less at night.

29. Sleeping in on weekends doesn’t help your sleep deprivation.

(Sleep Advisor)

Sleeping in can actually worsen your sleep deprivation problem. As a matter of fact, lack of sleep statistics break the news that our bodies can only get accustomed to two extra hours of sleep. Therefore, everything more than that can disrupt your sleeping pattern.

30. Sleep deprivation statistics in America verify that nine million US adults use sleeping pills.

(Time) (Sleep Advisor)

This translates to 4% of US adults using sleeping aids or medication for their sleep problems. Some of the most popular prescription sleep pills are expected to come with more evident safety warnings. Note that people who use sleeping pills have around 35% higher chances of developing cancer.

31. Every age group needs a different amount of sleep.

(American Thoracic Society)

Sleep needs by age vary a lot. Notably, newborns need from 14 to 17 hours of sleep, including naps, and infants need from 12 to 15 hours, also including naps. Moreover, toddlers need from 11 to 14 hours, while preschoolers need from 10 to 13 hours, with naps, too. Then, school-age children need 9–11 hours. As for teens, teenage sleep statistics suggest that they need 8–10 hours. As for adults and older adults, they need 7–9 and 7–8 hours of sleep every night, respectively.

Technology and Sleep Statistics

Electronic devices like tablets, computers, and cell phones release blue light, which has a short wavelength, known to interfere with the circadian rhythm through restraining melatonin production. Make sure you read on to be more informed.

32. The smart mattress market grows by 8.51% annually.

(Sleep Advisor)

Sleep facts note that switching to a more organic mattress with optimal firmness might improve our sleep. Following that, the smart mattress market was worth $92 million in 2017, yet spring mattresses are still the most popular. They are followed by memory foam mattresses and latex beds.

33. 8% of US adults use a sleep tracking application regularly.

(Statista) (Tuck)

As we know, sleep trackers analyze if we’re awake or asleep, chart the amount we spend sleeping, and keep track of our sleep quality. In the US, about 9% of people say they use sleep trackers occasionally, 7% have used them only once, 45% can imagine using them, and 31% report they won’t ever use them, according to American sleep statistics.

34. 83% of parents keep electronic devices in their bedrooms.

(NCBI) (The Washington Post)

Moreover, 12% of parents keep devices in bed with them. Consequently, teenagers are worried about their parents, and 38% of them claim their parents are addicted to their cell phones. What’s more, statistics from a study on using a smartphone before sleep revealed that around 98% of the study participants used smartphones, and 92.4% of them used them at bedtime.

35. Around 68% of children sleep with their devices in their bedrooms.

(Common Sense Media)

This sleep trend of keeping a phone during the night in the bedroom leads to sleep disruption caused by messages, emails, calls, or notifications. What’s more, a third of those who take their phones to their bedroom actually take their phone in bed with them. Believe it or not, over a third of those teens and a quarter of those parents wake up in the middle of the night to check their phone.

Statistics on Sleep Habits

Some healthy habits include setting a consistent sleep schedule, creating bedtime rituals, following a healthy diet, keeping naps short, avoiding alcohol, and getting regular exercise. Let’s see what some of the people’s sleep habits are.

36. In 2015, 24.4% of parents shared the bed with their infants.

(Statista)

Of them, 36.3% were people younger than 20, 28%—young people aged 20–24, 21.8%—young adults aged 25–34, and 23.6%—people over the age of 35. Be that as it may, around 37% of parents reported sharing the bed with their infants sometimes, and 38.6% reported never doing that, according to sleeping statistics.

37. According to a study, people wait 24.4 days to change their bedsheets.

(This Old House)

Furthermore, men change their bedsheets less often than women—they wait 29.6 days, whereas women wait 19.4 days. Also, married couples go 19.9 days without changing their bedsheets, those in relationship—21.8 days, and single people wait as long as 37 days to change their bedsheets.

38. 9% of surveyed Americans sleep in a separate bedroom from their partner.

(Better Sleep)

Moreover, sleep stats affirm that around 63% of couples sleep most of the night separated, with 26% reporting they sleep better alone. Also, approximately two in ten people in the US see their dream house as one with separate master bedrooms.

39. Finding new ways to connect with your loved ones helps with insomnia during the pandemic. 

(Help Guide)

The COVID-19 pandemic has disorganized a lot of aspects of our lives, including our sleeping patterns and habits, sleep statistics affirm. That said, although most of us are still functioning under restrictions, unable to see each other face-to-face, getting on a video or audio call might improve one’s mood and sleep. Some other things you can do to tackle insomnia and get much-needed rest: deal with worries, use a relaxation technique, stay active during the day, and set a regular bedtime.

American Sleep Statistics

About 50% of people in the US report feeling sleepy throughout the day between three and seven days a week. That’s a pretty high percentage, indeed. Let’s get more information from the following section about Americans and their sleep.

40. In 1910, the average American slept for nine hours a night, as confirmed by sleep statistics.

(Dacadoo)

As we’ve already learned, the best sleep duration for adults is 7–9 hours per night. Be that as it may, on average, people worldwide sleep 6.8 hours a night, according to a study. As sleep deprivation has gotten out of hand, CDC has declared insufficient sleep a “public health problem.”

41. There are almost 3,000 sleep labs across America.

(The Good Body) (Tuck)

Facts about sleep affirm that people concerned about their sleep often visit their doctor, who may then send them to a sleep clinic for an official diagnosis. In fact, sleep clinics are essentially labs where patients’ sleep is monitored, either overnight or throughout the day, and adequate diagnosis of sleep disorders is provided. Notably, in the 1970s, there were only a handful of these sleep clinics.

42. The amount of sleep apparently depends on the state you live in.

(America’s Health Rankings)

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its lack of sleep statistics showed that Hawaii has the highest number of adults who reported insufficient sleep—42.9%. At the same time, Minnesota is the healthiest state, with only 28.7% of its adult population sleeping less than seven hours a night.

43. Sleeping statistics show that 90 million Americans snore.

(Sleep Alliance)

Sleep deprivation often leads to sleeping disorders, like snoring. What’s more, of these 90 million people who snore, half have obstructive sleep apnea. In general, snoring can do a lot more harm than annoying your partner; it can cause serious health issues.

44. 68% of Americans struggle with sleep at least once a week.

(Khon2)

Sleep facts and statistics suggest that, as we get older, we are approximately 1.5 times more likely to have sleep problems, and our digestive tract might have problems absorbing supplements.

Interesting Sleep Facts

Now, it’s high time we looked into some of the fascinating data that is bound to spark your interest in the topic even more. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

45. Recently, nap cafes have gained popularity.

(The Good Body) (Taipei Expat)

Nap cafes are gaining popularity not only in the US but all over the world, as well. In these cafes, the visitors are provided with a little pod that they can rent for a quick nap. On top of that, some of the cafes also offer using massage chairs.

46. Women need more sleep than men.

(Start Sleeping)

According to sleep statistics from 2019, on average, women need around 20 more minutes of sleep compared to men. Equally important, about 41% of women and 39% of men sleep six hours or less.

47. The altitude influences sleep disruption.

(In Tech Open)

Additionally, the greater the altitude, the higher the chance of sleep disruption. In fact, people ascending to a 1.5-mile altitude commonly suffer from significant sleep disturbances, frequent awakenings, feelings of drowsiness the next day, among others.

48. People have 3–5 dreams every night, as per sleep facts.

(American Sleep Association)

Some people can even have seven dreams per night. Be that as it may, while most of the dreams are forgotten, people who have been woken up in the REM phase of the sleep can remember what they dreamt about, according to facts about sleep. Interestingly, dreams’ length varies; some dreams last only a few seconds, while others can last for 20–30 minutes.

Conclusion

Sleep is undoubtedly vital. Nevertheless, we often neglect the importance of getting sufficient rest. Sleep statistics compiled here prove yet again that we should make our sleep schedule consistent and prioritize good night’s rest for our overall wellbeing.

FAQs

What percentage of the population has trouble sleeping?

Trouble sleeping is genuinely prevalent. Namely, about 70% of American adults report insufficient sleep for at least one night a month. Astoundingly, 11% report getting insufficient sleep every night.

How many people suffer from insomnia?

It has been established that between 30% and 35% of the population experiences short-term or acute insomnia. It is primarily triggered by stress or an event that has changed our life quality.

What age group is the most sleep-deprived?

People aged 60 and over are most affected by insomnia. That is probably because the elderly are at higher risk of medical and psychiatric conditions, sleep-disordered breathing, or restless legs syndrome, leading to insomnia symptoms. Besides, our internal circadian clocks and sleep-wake cycles change as we become older and affect how long and well we sleep.

How much sleep does the average American get, according to 2020 statistics?

The average American gets less than six hours of sleep. Compared to 2018, that is approximately 47 minutes less. Given that, what might help is introducing a bedtime routine, like reading in bed, putting on a sleep mask, or taking a shower every night as it can signal your brain that it’s time to sleep.

How many people have sleep disorders?

Generally speaking, over 50 million people in the US have a sleep disorder, and another 20–30 million have intermittent sleep issues every year. More specifically, 25 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, 10% deal with chronic insomnia, and 5% of the population over 65 have restless legs syndrome.

What is the most common sleep disorder?

The most common sleep disorder is undoubtedly insomnia. According to sleep statistics, it affects around 10% of adults chronically and about 25%—acutely. Some of the insomnia symptoms include not being able to fall asleep for over 20–30 minutes or waking up frequently and not being able to get back to sleep.

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