A good night’s sleep can help offer a clear perspective and fresh start in the morning, but unfortunately, sleep doesn’t always come easy for Americans.
Sunday Citizen conducted an eight-question survey from Feb. 4–8, 2021 that asked 1,000 respondents about their sleep and how stress affects it.
Stress and sleep are intrinsically linked: High levels of stress can negatively impact sleep, just as, in a cruel twist of irony, a lack of sleep can increase stress levels. To improve sleep, experts recommend following a strict and consistent bedtime routine each day, meaning going to sleep and waking every day at the same time and avoiding impromptu naps in the middle of the day, even if you’re tired. Blue light can get in the way of rest, so it is also best to limit screen time before bed and avoid scrolling through feeds as you’re trying to fall asleep. Exercising earlier in the day, but not too close to bedtime, can improve sleep quality, as well. The Sleep Foundation recommends getting out of bed if you’re stressed about not falling asleep, as staying in bed when you’re frustrated can be counterproductive. Sometimes a change of environment and a brief calming activity, such as meditation or listening to relaxing music, can prepare the mind to return to the pillow.
While the recommended duration of sleep per day varies from person to person depending on age and other lifestyle factors, experts generally recommend the average adult gets around 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day. Yet, only 52.2% of Sunday Citizen’s survey respondents report they achieve that number and a considerable amount get less than 6 hours of sleep.
Continue reading to find out how your stress and sleep habits compare to those of other Americans.