Are Folks Getter More or Less Sleep Nowadays?

Well, hey there! Murray here from Vermont Bedrooms, located in beautiful Rutland, Vermont.

You know, it seems us Americans are catching more Zs than a sleepy cat in a sunbeam. You see, it’s not just you who rolled over and slapped that snooze button this morning. Nope! Turns out, we’re all hitting the hay more than ever before—more than we have in the past two decades, no less! A little birdie at the Washington Post told me so.

Between 2019 and 2022, the average Joe and Jane in the good ol’ U.S. of A. snagged an extra 10 minutes of shut-eye each day, according to some fancy data from the American Time Use Survey. Now, that may not sound like much, but sleep experts are nodding their heads in agreement—it’s a big deal! Mind you, not everyone’s sharing this dreamland bounty equally. The young whippersnappers between 25 and 34, fellas of all ages, and those without ankle-biters running around seem to be snoozing the most.

So, Curious How You Stack Up Against Your Fellow Sleepyheads?

Okay, let’s say last night you hit the sack at 10:00 PM and woke up at 6:00 AM. That’s a solid 8 hours of slumber! Now, what’s that mean?

You’re catching more winks than 30% of men your age for that one sleep session. For a whole day, for us seasoned citizens, aged 60 to 74, the average Joe is sawing logs for about 8 hours and 45 minutes a night. And remember, this includes the odd catnap, a bit of tossing and turning, or drifting off during Matlock reruns.

Now, how do we know all this? Well, every year, the nosy folks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau go around asking a bunch of Americans what they did all day. Every single minute gets logged—naps, dozing off, you name it. Though, if you want the gold standard of sleep measurement, that would be something called polysomnography. It’s a real mouthful and measures all sorts of things like brain activity and heart rate. But for now, our trusty survey gives us a good look at sleep trends.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom we’ve picked up: teenagers and young adults snooze more than us old-timers, women tend to sleep more than men, and weekends are for sleeping in. Meanwhile, those poor souls between 35 and 54, smack in the middle of parenting years, get the least amount of shut-eye.

Now, here’s something that’ll knock your socks off: those young adults, ages 25 to 34, have started clocking more sleep, closing the gap with the younger crowd. In fact, in 2022, young men in this age group nearly caught up with their 15- to 24-year-old counterparts on weekends, compared to 2010 when they were lagging by almost an hour.

From 2019 to 2022, men managed to squeeze in about 16 extra minutes of sleep per night, while women gained about nine minutes.

Even folks without kids are seeing more sleep, about 25 minutes more than in 2003. And women without children saw the biggest gains—13 minutes more per night between 2019 and 2022, compared to five minutes for men. Meanwhile, moms with young kids are catching 13.2 fewer minutes of sleep than their child-free counterparts. Dads with kids, bless their hearts, consistently get about half an hour less sleep than those without.

Has There Been Any Societal Lifestyle Changes That Have Affected How We Sleep?

Remote work’s played a big part in this sleep renaissance. With more folks working from home, they’re catching more z’s. Full-timers are waking up about 35 minutes later on work-from-home days than office days. That difference used to be more pronounced for women, but the pandemic evened things out.

According to Professor Mathias Basner, work is the number one sleep thief, followed by commuting. People just aren’t willing to give up their leisure and socializing time, so sleep often gets the short end of the stick.

But, Not Everything’s Rosy

But beware, folks: more sleep doesn’t always mean better sleep. To feel truly refreshed, sleep’s gotta be good quality—uninterrupted, like a washing machine cycle that runs its full course. If you’re stopping and starting, you’re not getting the full benefit, just like your laundry wouldn’t be fully clean if you stopped the washer mid-cycle.

The National Institutes of Health reckon over 50 million Americans have some kind of sleep disorder. Poor sleep can lead to serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia. And it seems many of us still struggle with sleeplessness, tossing and turning for an average of 70 minutes each night.

With all these sleep gadgets and trackers out there, folks are becoming more aware of their sleep habits. But sometimes, too much information can backfire, making folks anxious about their sleep and leading to—ironically—less sleep. As Professor Basner said, “People are more aware that sleep is important, but some programs can make folks so anxious about not getting enough sleep, they end up with insomnia!”

But, one particular gadget has always been known to improve your night’s sleep. That gadget, of course, is a new mattress from your friends at Vermont Bedrooms, located in Rutland, Vermont. Super easy to find at 159 US Route 4 East, Rutland Town, VT 05701. We’ve been here for a really long time, improving the quality of sleep for folks just like you. Come give us a visit or at least take a look at what we have to offer through this website.

So, remember, it’s not just about quantity but quality. Sweet dreams, my friends!