Study: People are Tech-savvy - and Sleepy

By Cindy Waxer March 07, 2011

Go ahead and yawn as you read this article. I’m not going to take it personally. That’s because gadgets, from smartphones to televisions, are preventing nearly half of all Americans from getting enough zzz’s.

According to the 2011 “Sleep in America” poll, conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 43 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night's sleep on weeknights. More than half – 60 percent - say that they experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night (i.e., snoring, waking in the night, waking up too early, or feeling un-refreshed when they get up in the morning).

About two-thirds – 63 percent - of Americans say their sleep needs are not being met during the week. Most say they need about seven and a half hours of sleep to feel their best, but report getting about six hours and 55 minutes of sleep on average weeknights. About 15 percent of adults between 19 and 64 and 7 percent of 13-18 year olds say they sleep less than six hours on weeknights.

The culprit: the study revealed that many Americans are clicking, surfing and dialing in the hour before trying to sleep – active technology use that’s preventing them from getting the recuperative hours they need.

"This poll explores the association between Americans' use of communication technologies and sleep habits," says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. "While these technologies are commonplace, it is clear that we have a lot more to learn about the appropriate use and design of this technology to complement good sleep habits."

The study reveals that Americans report very active technology use in the hour before trying to sleep. Almost everyone surveyed, 95 percent, uses some type of electronics like a television, computer, video game or cell phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed. However, baby boomers (46-64 year olds), generation X'ers (30-45 year olds), generation Y'ers (19-29 year olds) and generation Z'ers (13-18 year olds) report very different technology preferences.

About two-thirds of baby boomers – 67 percent - and generation X'ers – 63 percent - and half of generation Z'ers – 50 percent- and generation Y'ers – 49 percent - watch television every night or almost every night within the hour before going to sleep.




Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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