“It’s just one night of four hours of sleep. It doesn’t matter much.” That is something many people say when they stay up late in the night and have to get up early in the morning. But it does matter a lot because lack of sleep can lead to mistakes at work or even life-threatening accidents.
In this article on sleep statistics, we will look at how people sleep. We will also touch upon sleep deprivation and the problems it can cause. Along the way, we will see how sleep is related to different illnesses and the correlation between caffeine and sleep.
Basic Sleep Facts and Statistics
In this section, we will examine some of the basic facts and statistics about sleep. Those about newborns, children and teenagers, and adults are separate from each other for clarity. It is interesting, or rather concerning, to note that adults are not the only ones affected by sleep problems: teenagers are as well. This has led the American Academy of Pediatrics to declare a public health epidemic in 2014.
- Newborns can sleep between 14 to 17 hours a day with intermittent periods of three hours of wakefulness.
- Only 57% of infants sleep for eight hours straight by the time they are a year old.
- Around 3,500 babies in the US die due to sudden infant death syndrome and other sleep-related causes every year.
- There is a 1 in 1,500 chance of a high-risk baby dying of SIDS while in a crib in a parent’s room.
Children and Teenagers
- Toddlers need between 11 to 14 hours of sleep in a day. Meanwhile, school-aged children require nine to 11 hours of sleep in 24 hours.
- Almost 10,000 teenagers under 16 years old were admitted to hospitals in 2017 due to sleep disorders in the UK.
- Teens who have difficulty sleeping are 55% more likely to have consumed alcohol in the past month.
- 57.8% of middle school students do not sleep enough on school nights. Meanwhile, the number of students in high school who are sleep deprived are higher, with 7 out of 10 reporting lack of sleep.
- Among children with ADHD, between 25% to 50%, have different kinds of sleep issues.
- Humans spend a third of their lives in slumber.
- 25% of married couples sleep in separate beds.
- Adults generally require seven to nine hours of sleep. But starting at 60 years of age, sleep becomes shorter and lighter.
- 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder.
- A human body’s temperature drops one or two degrees in the middle of the night. This causes people to feel chilly, but it is entirely normal.
- Only 8% of adults sleep on their backs, though this is the healthiest position for sleep.
- 50% to 80% of psychiatric patients have chronic sleep problems.
- 69% to 99% of people with bipolar disorder say they need less sleep or have insomnia when they are in a manic episode.
- 50% of adults with generalized anxiety disorder have sleep problems.
- 1 in 4 University of Georgia students suffered from degraded academic performance because of sleep deprivation.
- 50% of college students become sleepy during the daytime, and 70% have little sleep at night.
How Do People Sleep?
Source: Sleep.orgCreated by CompareCamp.com
Effects of Sleep Loss
If you have had nights when you could not sleep well, then you know that you end up feeling lightheaded in the morning. But the effects of the inadequacy of sleep extends beyond that. For example, investigations show that sleep deprivation may be blamed for large-scale industrial accidents like the 1979 nuclear incident at Three Mile Island and the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown. Here are other effects of sleep loss:
- 90 million American adults get their sleep disrupted because of snoring.
- The longest period of a person not sleeping recorded is 11 days.
- Individuals aged 27 years and up are 7.5 times more likely to be obese when they sleep for less than six hours every night.
- Otherwise healthy individuals who had their sleep cut from eight to four hours processed glucose more slowly than when they were able to sleep up to 12 hours.
- Sleeping five hours or less every night increases mortality risk by 15%.
- $31 billion—that is the amount organizations lose each year because of sleep-related accidents in the workplace.
- Drowsy driving causes 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 non-fatal injuries yearly.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
All About Dreams
One of the things that make sleep interesting is dreams. Since ancient times, humans have been asking what purpose dreams serve. Some scientists believe that there is no function to dreaming. Meanwhile, others believe that while dreaming, “we make connections most loosely” in our minds, as directed by our emotions. But though everyone dreams, each individual experiences it differently.
- 12% of people dream in black and white only.
- People forget half of their dreams upon waking up.
- Though humans spend roughly two hours every night dreaming.
- REM sleep happens around 90 minutes or one hour and a half after falling asleep.
- 187 undergraduate students in a study reported lucid dreaming and psychopathology.
Correlation between Caffeine and Sleep
Perhaps one of the most oft-cited reasons for lack of sleep is caffeine. There is an understanding if a person drinks coffee or any beverage with caffeine late in the evening that they will have a hard time getting some shut-eye. However, studies have proven otherwise.
- 90% of Americans consume beverages with caffeine content.
- Late-night coffee does not impact sleep, a study finds. Rather, nicotine and alcohol did have an effect.
- A coffee calculator shows that people who sleep only five hours a night need two cups of weak coffee upon waking up and two more cups after four hours.
- 400 milligrams is the threshold amount of caffeine in the bloodstream for humans.
- Caffeine can stimulate the mind after 15 minutes of consuming it.
- 80% of survey respondents don’t know how the extent of their caffeine intake.
- 62% of the American population have caffeinated drinks daily, and 93% of them consume the substance in the early or late morning.
- 71% of survey takers believe they would have a difficult time going through their day without caffeine.
Sleeping with Aids
Though studies have shown, there is no positive correlation between sleep and late-night coffee, the fact that so many people have difficulty sleeping still cannot be avoided. To remedy that problem, adults turn to sleep aids.
Sleep aids are over-the-counter or doctor-prescribed medications or supplements. The common selections are:
- Doxylamine succinate
However, some people turn to less common sleep aids, too, such as alcohol. But who uses these medications or aids and how often? Let’s find out through the sleep aids statistics below:
- 35.4% of geriatrics report that they use a sleeping aid. 21.9% of them acquired OTC medications, 12.5% selected herbal or natural concoctions, 8.3% purchased doctor-prescribed aids, and 5% got help from their pain medication.
- 1.9% more adult women use sleep aids than adult men.
- Adults who sleep less than five hours are more likely to employ prescription sleep aids (6%).
- Adults aged 80 and above use sleep aids more than other age groups (7%).
- 12% of college students turn to alcohol to sleep.
- Another study shows that 16% of students take to alcohol, while 31% used marijuana to get some sleep.
- 38 million – the approximate number of prescriptions for Ambien between 2006 and 2011.
Though sleeping aids are beneficial, some people rely on them too much to the point of addiction. Here are some data about sleeping pills abuse.
- 30,149 people received treatment in an emergency room because of non-prescribed Ambien use in 2011.
- 21% of sleeping pills abusers became suicidal or had thoughts of suicide in 2012.
- Icelanders use two to three times more sleeping pills than other Nordic counterparts.
Treatments for Sleepless Nights
Some people would rather not resort to drug use to treat their insomnia and other sleep disorders. That is why they turn to nonpharmacological management of sleeplessness. But others would rather use tools or devices like sleep pillows to help them sleep longer.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be reliable in treating chronic insomnia. 43% of patients involved in a study reported the efficacy of this approach.
- Sleep latency through sleep restriction decreased from 48 to 19 minutes.
- From 64 minutes, sleep latency went down to 34 minutes with the help of stimulus control.
- The sleep market has a value of $28 billion.
- There are around 4,700 sleep labs in the US. These can be found in hospitals and universities. Some of these are run independently.
- The sleeping pillow market is projected to reach $18.1 million in 2024.
- Asia-Pacific is the region that is seeing fast growth when it comes to sleeping aids.
- 45% of Americans have used or are using wearable fitness trackers and/or mobile health apps.
- 20% of males and 17% of females track their health statistics, including sleep times, using fitness trackers and apps.
- 28% of 18-34-year-olds use fitness devices.
- 30% of current and former fitness gadget users say they were very helpful while 46% say they were somewhat helpful.
Getting a Good Night’s Rest
According to a Phillips global survey, only 53% of people have an idea of why they are unable to sleep well. However, the study also showed that 74% of respondents use their smartphones in bed when they are about to sleep. This could be one of the glaring reasons why or there could be others.
If you believe it is the latter, then you may want to visit a physician. But even before you do, you can already start making changes to your sleep patterns to improve your sleep. Just follow these tips:
- Exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day but not a few hours before going to bed.
- Set a sleep schedule.
- Set up a room that is conducive to sleep–no bright lights, no loud sounds, and avoid watching TV or looking at a computer screen before sleeping.
- Do breathing exercises to help you relax.
If you find that you are unable to sleep, find something to do other than worrying about it. Because when you do, your brain becomes more active. Thus, it is better to do something that is relaxing than stressing out.