WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Millions of Americans suffer from some sort of sleep disorder — and 73 percent of the nation currently logs less than eight hours of sleep each night. What's more alarming is that our efforts to get more rest could actually be doing more harm than good.
In an unprecedented partnership, National Geographic Channel (NGC), along with The Public Good Projects and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), America's foremost scientific authority, will draw the nation's attention to the science of sleep — a topic fundamental to our collective well-being. Sleepless in America premieres Sunday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NGC. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com and follow us on Twitter at @NGC_PR.
A growing body of evidence reveals this pervasive lack of sleep as a public health issue, increasing the risk of serious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and depression, as well as injuries and deaths due to drowsy-driving accidents.
The new survey released today by National Geographic Channel indicates that 54 percent of Americans feel they need at least eight hours of sleep to feel well-rested, yet 73 percent sleep for less than eight hours every night. On average, it takes Americans 24 minutes to fall asleep, with 38 percent reporting 25 minutes or longer for them to fall asleep. Furthermore, over a third of Americans (34%) sleeps worse now than they did five years ago, a possible sign that this epidemic is getting worse.
The upcoming winter holidays only seem to reduce our hours of sleep each night, as almost four in five (77%) believe that the season will keep them up at night for at least one reason. Interestingly, stressful thoughts such as the cost of holiday gifts (36%) and shopping lists (33%) are just as likely to get in the way of slumber as general excitement about the season (34%).
Other highlights from the survey:
When compared with other politicians, almost two in three Americans (66%) think that President Obama is sleeping the least these days, compared with John Boehner (12%), Hillary Clinton (11%), Mitt Romney (7%) and Harry Reid (5%).
A good night's sleep is so important that almost three in five Americans (57%) would choose eight hours of sleep every night for a month instead of great sex for the same period of time. Good sleep at the cost of good sex feels like an even exchange for more women than men (69% vs. 43%). Similarly, almost three in four Americans (74%) can name at least one thing they'd give up for 30 days to earn eight hours of sleep each night for four weeks. This list includes major components of everyday life such as TV (28%), shopping (26%) and mobile devices (19%).
Many modern distractions may be preventing Americans from winding down: American bedtime rituals include watching TV (70%) and engaging in social media (37%). Northeasterners are more likely than those in other regions (75% vs. 68%) to watch TV as they wind down for the night. And when they can't fall asleep, 38 percent of Americans are most likely to watch TV or turn to social media, potentially making their insomnia even worse.
More than half (54%) of the nation agrees that stress is making them get less sleep than they'd prefer. More parents than nonparents (60% vs. 51%) and more working than nonworking Americans (58% vs. 49%) cite stress as a reason they don't get enough sleep.
More than one in two (51%) Americans have resorted to the use of sleep aids when they have trouble falling asleep. And over a third (36%) of those using sleep aids rely on this measure at least a few times a week. More parents than nonparents (58% vs. 47%) have used sleep aids to ease the problems they have falling asleep.
The Children Effect:
More American parents than nonparents (78% vs. 70%) usually sleep less than eight hours every night. And more parents than nonparents (46% vs. 34%) take at least 25 minutes to fall asleep.
The Starbucks Effect:
Forty percent of Americans are more likely to drink caffeine to feel less tired during days when they're low on sleep versus other activities such as taking a nap or exercising.
Sleeping on the Job:
Some people have no qualms about where they fall asleep when the need hits, confessing they've dozed off during a religious ceremony (27%), at a stranger's home (19%), during a work meeting (10%) and even while on a date (5%)!
Seventy-eight percent of Americans have pulled all-nighters. More people ages 18–49 than those who are 50 and older (81% vs. 72%) have a history with all-nighters. This habit is also more common among parents than nonparents (83% vs. 75%). People with all-nighter experience are just as likely to have taken such a drastic move to go out socially (35%) as to work (35%) or study (36%). More men than women (41% vs. 28%) have stayed up all night for work.
Taylor or Barbara:
Age really does matter when it comes to famous singers Americans most want singing them a lullaby. Taylor Swift is top choice for more people ages 18–29 than those who are 30 and older (12% vs 5%). Elton John is more likely to be the No. 1 option for people ages 30–39 than for other age groups (11% vs. 7%). Americans in their 40s are more likely than other age groups (17% vs. 10%) to put Celine Dion as No. 1 on this list. Among Americans ages 50 and older, Barry White (14% vs. 7%) and Barbra Streisand (15% vs. 5%) are most likely to earn top billing for a bedtime serenade than among other age groups.
This survey was conducted by Kelton Global between Oct. 21 and Oct. 27, 2014, among 1,033 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and older, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and older.
Sleepless in America will illustrate what happens when we don't get enough sleep or when our sleep is disturbed, reveal the emerging explanations for why we sleep, illuminate an array of sleep disorders and explain what we all can do to get a better night's sleep.
Sleepless in America is produced by The Public Good Projects for NGC. For The Public Good Projects, John Hoffman is executive producer and director, Alexandra Moss is executive producer, and Jon Bardin and Tomek Gross are producers. For National Geographic Channel, Michael Kovnat is executive producer, Lynn Sadofsky is vice president of production, Noel Siegel is senior vice president of production and development, and Tim Pastore is president of original programming and production.
ABOUT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in over 85 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.
ABOUT KELTON GLOBAL
Kelton Global is a research, strategy and design consultancy that works with many of the world's largest and most recognizable brands to help them better understand and connect with consumers. Kelton provides highly customized qualitative, quantitative, innovation and design research for a wide variety of companies across multiple sectors. For more information about Kelton Global, please call 1-888-8KELTON or visit www.keltonglobal.com.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-winter-holidays-will-keep-almost-four-in-five-americans-awake-at-night-300001632.html
SOURCE National Geographic Channel