Story at a glance

  • PlushBeds, a mattress company, conducted a poll to find out what exactly keeps people up at night.
  • The poll found that politics and personal finances were the most commonly cited sleep stressors.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent recommends all adults get in seven hours of sleep every night.

A new poll revealed that current political events, personal finances and the current state of political leadership are the biggest topics affecting Americans’ sleep.

PlushBeds, a California-based mattress company, conducted a poll among 1,003 people of a variety of age groups to find out what prevents people from getting an adequate amount of sleep. Their answers resulted in a laundry list of issues that keep people up at night, ranging from politics to work-life balance and even getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Approximately 65 percent of respondents said current political events were considered sleep stressors, followed closely by personal finances at nearly 61 percent and political leadership at 60 percent.

The sleep stressors varied by generation, with 70 percent of Baby Boomers surveyed indicating current political events were their biggest stressor while 69 percent of Generation Z said personal finances was theirs.


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Not every age group was as concerned about unvaccinated individuals when it came to COVID-19, with 65 percent of Generation Z indicating unvaccinated individuals were a sleep stressor while only 54 percent of Baby Boomers felt the same.

Interestingly, neither Millennials or Generation X’s top five sleep stressors included unvaccinated individuals.

When it came to understanding what exactly hinders peoples’ sleep, PlushBeds' poll found that within Generation Z, the youngest age cohort surveyed, falling asleep was the biggest hindrance, with 62 percent citing that as a reason for their sleep struggles.

For Baby Boomers and Generation X, waking up during the night was their biggest sleep hindrance, at 59 and 50 percent respectively.

According to PlushBed’s analysis, “older generations had an observably harder time staying asleep, and reported more issues with waking up in the middle of the night than younger generations. However, all other sleep struggles affected younger generations more.”

However, survey respondents seemed to be working on solutions to their sleep troubles, with 38 percent indicating their bedtime routine consisted of reading before bed, 29 percent said they listened to music and 28 percent tried to avoid screens.

PlushBed found that the top three habits that actually led to an adequate amount of sleep every night were going for a walk (at 75 percent), exercising (at 74 percent) and avoiding screens (at 74 percent). 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults get seven hours of sleep per night for the best health and wellbeing, while a 2016 study found that 1 in 3 adults doesn’t get enough sleep every night. 

Wayne Giles, director of CDC’s division of population health, said “as a nation we are not getting enough sleep. Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.”


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Published on Nov 30, 2021