Sleep Deprivation Statistics That’ll Wake You Up0

Get some sleep! It will soothe your mind and soul. But that’s easier said than done.  If you are managing to squeeze in that recommended eight hours of sleep in your busy schedule, you can call it your superpower. 

The thing is:

There are many people in America who cannot get proper sleep because of anxiety, burn out, or different sleep disorders.

Teenagers are also missing out on a good night’s sleep, which affects their school performance and their mental and physical capacities, sleep deprivation statistics confirm. 

It gets worse:

Scientists weigh on insomnia and sleep deprivation as conditions with deep and severe implications for one’s health. Those who do not get enough sleep are more prone to causing a car accident, have a hard time thinking and concentrating at work, have higher blood pressure, and risk developing a heart condition. 

That said, sleeping saves lives! That’s why we gathered some vital facts and current stats on sleep deprivation for you. These numbers will make you wake up and smell the coffee before you do something about this grave issue. 

Key Sleep Deprivation Stats (Editor’s Choice)

  • The US has to pay $411 billion due to the lack of sleep. 
  • Sleep deprivation causes about 20% of all car crashes and trauma. 
  • 35% of grown-ups do not sleep 7-9 hours. 
  • People should fall asleep naturally after 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Teenagers are seriously sleep-deprived. Around 20% of them get only five hours of sleep, sleep deprivation statistics in America show. 
  • 36% of the grown-up population in the US claim they feel drowsy and tired in the morning.
  • From 1942 to 2013, the amount of sleep Americans get has shrunk from 7,9 to 6,8 hours.

General Sleeping Trends in the USA

1. 36% of the grown-up population in the US claim they feel drowsy and tired in the morning. 

(Source: Statista) 

This stat shows how many people are sleep deprived and that it manifests as feeling knackered even though you have just got up. That’s a familiar feeling for over a third of us.

2. As of 2017, 53% of women said they are satisfied with how much sleep they get. 

(Source: Statista) 

These lack of sleep statistics show the percentage of American women who think their sleeping routine is on point. On the other hand, male citizens mark a 3% higher level of satisfaction with their sleeping habits and the quality of sleep.

3. 68% of millennials say taking care of their sleeping needs is very important to them. 

(Source: Statista) 

According to the results of a 2016 survey, the majority of millennials favored spending time with their families and friends over other activities in their personal lives. Following a certain sleep schedule also had an essential part in their routines. 

4. In 2017, 43% of women could not sleep the entire night. 

(Source: Statista) 

These shocking research results support the fact that many women in the US experience disruptive sleep. Around 30% of men in America have reported the same issue. 

5. In 2017, 37% of adults reported that they are happy with the quality of their sleep. 

(Source: Statista) 

Less than half of the American adult population has reported that they are satisfied with their quality of sleep and sleeping habits. Moreover, 49% of US residents aged 60 and above said they find their sleeping satisfactory. The equivalent results for people aged 18-29 were 20% lower. 

6. Sleep deprivation statistics reveal that 35% of men and 39% of women complain that they are missing out on sleep. 

(Source: Statista) 

Although many Americans value the importance of a good night’s sleep and its positive effect on their well-being, statistically, they still neglect it, according to a 2017 survey. 

7. As of 2016, US 12th graders had the highest short-sleep duration percentage. 

(Source: Statista) 

The surveyed student body slept approximately less than eight hours on school nights. Shockingly, 77.6% of these students slept less than the recommended eight hours a night. 

8. The recommended amount of sleep for newborn babies is 14-17 hours, while infants should sleep 12-15 hours.  

(Source: SleepFoundation) 

Stats also recommend a certain amount of sleep for other age groups: toddlers should get 11-14 hours of sleep, preschoolers should clock in 10-13 hours of sleep and naps, kids that go to school should sleep between 9 and 10 hours, teens should be able to get by with 8-9 hours of Zs, and those from 18-25, and 25-64 years old can get by with 7-9 hours of sleep. 

It’s important to point out that research can’t precisely determine the amount of sleep all people should have. These numbers illustrate the optimal amount we should spend sleeping during different stages of our lives. That being said, each individual has their own needs and rhythm when it comes to sleeping.

9. Around 67% of the elderly Americans (65 and older) say they are getting the most sleep, seven or more hours per night.

(Source: Gallup) 

These sleep deprivation statistics confirm the following trend – the younger Americans are, the less sleep they get. Nearly half of America’s youth aged 18-29 sleep less than eight hours. Also, young parents with lower earnings tend to miss out on their recommended amount of sleep.

10. More than half of US citizens have had a nap during the previous week. 

(Source: Start Sleeping) 

23% of Americans said that they napped in 1-2 days,13% in 3-4 days, while 17% had naps roughly for 5 days.  

These numbers cannot precisely determine if Americans are napping because they are sleep-deprived. Also, it is very common that people enjoy an afternoon nap, the so-called siesta.

11. In January 2019, 60% of interviewees aged 18-60 said they take their sleep into account when making plans on what to do the following day. 

(Source: Statista) 

This fact gives us valuable information about how people’s awareness of the importance of sleep has changed. 

12. Sleep deprivation stats show that African-Americans and Asians sleep less than eight hours.

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The percentage of sleep-deprived people by race or ethnicity is as follows: White – 68.3%, Black – 71.2%, Hispanic – 67%, American Indian and Alaska Natives – 60.3%, Asian- 75.7%. 

Sleep Disorders Statistics and Current Sleeping Trends

13. 4-9% of middle-aged men and 2-4% of women suffer from sleep apnea.

(Source: SleepAdvisor.org)

Although this disorder is often attributed to the male population, a lot of women have issues with sleep apnea as well, stats show. This condition is caused by the blockage in the upper airways. As a result, one can snore very loudly and feel drowsy and worn out in the morning. These stats prove that the number of men and women with these annoying issues is close to equal. 

14. Obstructive sleep apnea is the reality for 25 million Americans. 

(Source: Springfield Smile Doctor)

This sleeping disorder is often dismissed as minor. But when you come to think about it, obstructive sleep apnea happens when throat muscles and tissue relax and collapse to block your airway. As a result, you stop breathing shortly, resulting in your brain waking up to make you breathe harder and overcome this blockage. Sounds pretty scary, right? 

15. 30% of the grown-up Americans experience insomnia, while 20% less suffer chronic insomnia. 

(Source: Start Sleeping)

Insomnia statistics prove that this is the most widespread type of sleep disorder in the US. Many people resort to sleep medication because they cannot go out like a light when they go to bed. As a result, insomniacs experience fatigue, forgetfulness, mood swings, accidents in traffic, and depression. 

16. 75% of people experiencing symptoms of narcolepsy have never been diagnosed, estimates confirm. 

(Source: Start Sleeping)

Narcolepsy is a neurological medical condition that occurs in people whose brain is not entirely in charge of their sleeping cycle. As a result, one can nod off whenever – during a dull office meeting, at dinner with their significant one, at a party, or even when they’re driving. 

When undiagnosed, narcolepsy can be very dangerous, for you may fall asleep at critical moments when your full concentration is paramount. That said, having only 25% of patients diagnosed with narcolepsy is a disturbing piece of information. 

17. 135,000 to 200,000 of the US population has narcolepsy. 

(Source: NINDS)

Narcolepsy affects American men and women equally. Although it cannot be cured, it doesn’t progress during a lifetime. Also, if you approach it responsibly and take measures to control it, you can moderate the symptoms. 

Recommended practice includes taking naps every time you can, controlling smoking, caffeine, and alcohol intake before you hit the sack, etc. 

18. 11-29% of pregnant women experience RLS. 

(Source: Start Sleeping)

As if being pregnant isn’t hard enough, almost 30% of women experience uncomfortable twitches or tickling that makes them move their legs uncontrollably when they sleep. 

19. 4-6% of the US adult population suffer from hypersomnia.

(Source: Start Sleeping)

These stats show that less than 10% of the US population has hypersomnia. This sleeping disorder makes one feel sleepy or sluggish during the day, so they spend their days sleeping excessively. 

20. 37.5% of driving sessions by those who previously worked a night shift have been proven unsafe or dangerous. 

(Source: Start Sleeping)

Almost 40% of driving sessions by night shift workers are qualified as risky. Being up all night and continuously missing out on your much-needed shut-eye can affect your health. But driving while sleep-deprived may incur a loss of focus, poor reflexes, and cause car accidents. Therefore, to avoid accidents caused by sleep deprivation, those who work night shifts should consider calling an Uber or walking to work. 

Causes of Sleep Deprivation Stats

21. 24-36% of insomniacs have an anxiety disorder. 27-42% of hypersomniacs suffer the same mental condition. 

(Source: Start Sleeping) 

These numbers make it clear that many sleeping disorders are intertwined or caused by certain mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. Another study shows that in 18% of interviewees, anxiety started as a result of insomnia, while in 38.6% of the cases, these two conditions surfaced around the same time, sleep disorders statistics confirm. 

Many people who are anxious do not enjoy their bedtime routine. For them, this is when their constant self-reflection and anxious thoughts reach their peak. On another note, those with hypersomnia and anxiety disorder find sleep as their happy place where they can hide away from problems. 

22. PTSD usually comes with chronic sleeplessness and nightmares.

(Source: Start Sleeping) 

Post-traumatic stress disorder is common with people who suffered major psychological and physical trauma. During the nighttime, a high percentage of assault victims, ex-soldiers, or natural disasters survivors relive their traumatic experiences, which cause intermittent sleeping and insomnia. For example, roughly 96% of those who Holocaust survivors suffered from insomnia, and 83% of them would have recurrent nightmares.

23. 75% of patients with depression also have insomnia.

(Source: Start Sleeping) 

Depression can also cause sleeplessness in a vast number of people, sleep disorders statistics say. Close to 80% of people with depression experience insomnia. Close to 20 million  Americans struggle with depression and its hindering feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and disinterest. 

The connection between insomnia and depression is complex. Sometimes, depression can cause sleeplessness, and in other cases, insomnia can cause depression. Living with any of these conditions can be insufferable, let alone a combination of them. 

Unfortunately, Stanford University research confirmed that depressed individuals are five times more likely to develop a sleeping disorder. 

24. 20% of the American population say pain is a common cause of their disruptive sleep. 

(Source: The Good Body)

Many Americans who wake up at night can’t fall asleep because they struggle with some form of pain. Around 23% of patients with chronic pain have also been diagnosed with a sleeping disorder. On another note, those who have conditions that cause both chronic or acute pain reported that their lack of sleep takes a toll on their day-to-day activities. 

Consequences of Sleep Deprivation Statistics

25. 33% of people who miss out on their shut-eye are obese, meaning that their body mass index is equal to or higher than 30kg/m2. 

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 

One of the detrimental effects of lack of sleep is obesity. These stats show that roughly 30% of Americans who do not catch up on their Zs are overweight. Once they wake up or stay up late, people pay night visits to their fridge and snacks. 

According to one study, 12% of adults with a healthy weight had increased caloric intake after only four hours of sleep. 

The scientific explanation of this pattern of behavior is simple. Sleep keeps hormones of fullness and hunger. So once your sleeping schedule gets messy, your brain produces more of the hunger hormone, which increases your appetite. 

26. 27.2% of sleepless adults do not partake in physical activities. 

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 

A large number of studies conducted over the last decade suggest more than one-quarter of Americans do not think regular exercise and a consistent sleep schedule are pivotal for their overall health and well-being. 

Nevertheless, one of the common causes of sleep deprivation in adults is also their lack of physical activity. Note that practicing sports or hitting the gym can help with numerous sleep disorders. By engaging in physical activities on a daily basis, sleep-deprived people can prevent many chronic health issues that can appear as a result of their lack of shut-eye. 

27. 4.8% of sleep-deprived folks get heart attacks.

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 

Statistics show that less than 5% of individuals can suffer a heart attack if they do not sleep enough on a regular basis. Another study found that having less than five hours of sleep can increase the chances of a heart attack the same way cigarettes can. 

28. 3.6% of those who sleep less than eight hours risk getting a stroke. Around 16.5% of short-sleepers get asthma, while 28.8% live with arthritis. 

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Sleep deprivation facts and statistics confirm that roughly 4% of individuals who avoid sleeping the recommended amount of hours can have a stroke or other cardiovascular issues. Also, 12% of adult people who do not get enough sleep experience respiratory issues, while almost 30% suffer from arthritis. Pain caused by this rheumatoid condition causes insomnia in 80% of patients. 

29. 22.9% of the US population claims their lack of sleep resulted in depression. 

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

As we have mentioned previously, depression can appear as one of the sleep deprivation effects. Sleep deficit causes roughly 20% of Americans to feel despondent, irritable, hopeless, and useless. 

30. Research conducted on American kids aged 6-17 for obesity-associated diseases discovered that the number of hospital discharges for sleep apnea skyrocketed by 436% over the past 20 years.

(Source: Start Sleeping) 

These sleep disorders statistics corroborate the strong connection between obesity and developing sleep apnea. Also, the number of obese kids in America has hit the roof. As a result, they will inevitably encounter other health issues during their lifetime if they do not try to lose weight. 

31. 82% of college students report that lack of sleep affects their scholarly performance negatively. 

(Source: The Good Body

The effects of sleep deprivation on students are harmful to their physical and mental health, as well as their academic performance. Around eight in ten university students struggle with keeping focus during lectures and exams because they experience sleep deprivation symptoms.

Many experts believe students spend too much time online or using tech devices before bedtime. This behavior is to blame for their lack of shut-eye. 

32. For teens, each hour of sleeplessness increased feelings of sadness and hopelessness by 38%. 

(Source: The Good Body

Sleep deficit stats prove that 60-70% of American teens live in sleep debt. This disturbing information confirms that American teenagers sleep less than eight hours per night. Physical, mental, and behavioral changes that might occur as a result of their bad sleeping habits are profound. 

According to statistics on sleep deprivation, around 40% of teens feel more depressed by the hour of sleeplessness, and their parents and schools should not sleep on that shocking and disturbing information. 

33. Roughly 20% of all serious car accident traumas are connected with drivers not getting enough sleep. 

(Source: The Good Body)

This percentage of injuries caused by drivers who are too tired and sleepy to drive is raising more and more concern. People see driving as part of their day-to-day routine. As a result, sometimes, they do not take into account how tired and sleep-deprived they are before they get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this reckless pattern of behavior sometimes ends tragically. 

34. Between 50,000 and 100,000 patients die in American medical facilities every year due to medical errors, with inadequate sleep among physicians thought to be a factor. 

(Source: The Good Body)

It is a well-known fact that doctors and nurses in the US are overworked. With that in mind, the stats about fatalities caused by medical errors due to their sleep deficit are not surprising. Physicians who miss out on their regular shut-eye put their patients in major life risks. 

35. Sleep deficit increases the risk of death by up to 13%.

(Source: The Good Body)

This statistic is accurate for different causes of death, such as strokes, cancer, fatal car crashes, etc. So, as a rule, people who get regular sleep have a longer life expectancy than those who miss out on their Zs, sleep deprivation facts confirm. 

36. 18% of workers in the US experience reduced productivity during working hours due to sleep deficit.  

(Source: NCBI) 

These sleep deprivation facts prove that numerous American companies face economic loss due to their employees’ lack of sleep. Furthermore, workers who do not sleep more than six hours per night say they lose productivity by 2.4%. So, insufficient sleep has detrimental effects not only on people’s health but on economics as well. 

Sleep Aids Stats

37. 9 million US citizens take prescription sleep medications.

(Source: SleepAdvisor.org)

The number of sleep-medicated people in America is hitting the roof. This alarming stat calls for urgent action to end sleep deprivation. For instance, people should not go to bed after large meals, and they should sleep in a quiet room and exercise regularly. 

Medication should be promoted as a last resort to those in dire need for sleep because there is a 35% higher chance of getting cancer if you use it. 

38. 12.7% of Americans stated that they had been using sleep medications between 2005 and 2010.  

(Source: Statista)

This stat includes US grown-ups aged 20 and older who took prescribed sleep meds during this time. This body of interviewees said they either diagnosed themselves or searched for a professional medical opinion.

Do you have any more questions about sleep deprivation? People often ask the following…

FAQ

Q: What age group is most sleep-deprived?

Teenage sleep deprivation statistics say that unlike elderly Americans, teens and college students have the highest percentage of sleep deprivation. Researches have shown that those over 65 have regular sleeping patterns. So, the older Americans get, the more they sleep. 

The research, which was conducted by the National Sleep Foundation between 1991 and 2012 and included approximately 250,000 teenagers, discovered shocking results. A whopping 85% of those aged 15 or older slept less than seven hours per night. 

Sleep deprivation in high school students statistics proves that many students are not even aware that they are sleep deprived or that they need more sleep. The majority are night owls. They enjoy talking to their friends online or spending time playing video games or on social media

So, when it comes to getting up for school, most of them struggle to keep their eyes open or just convince their parents that they are sick and skip school.

Q: Who is most affected by sleep deprivation?

Even though we cannot say that sleep deprivation is an illness, we can say that it is related or intertwined with certain medical conditions. Apart from teenagers who begin to show signs of lack of sleep when they are about 14 or older, other groups affected by a lack of sleep are: 

  • Those who suffer from depression and anxiety 
  • Schizophrenics 
  • People who experience chronic pain 
  • Cancer patients 
  • Older people with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease  
Q: How long does it take to recover from chronic sleep deprivation?

Sometimes, repaying your sleep debt can take a lot of time. Many people think they can compensate for their lack of sleep during the week by sleeping in on weekends. Unfortunately, that is not an advisable approach in the long run. 

For instance, a sleepless, exhausted young mom needs to get by and compensate for her sleep if she wants to keep her sanity. So, let’s say if she had missed roughly 10 hours of sleep for one week, she can compensate it over the weekend and sleep for an hour or two longer the following week. 

On the other hand, if you need to account for hours and hours of missed shut-eye, you must get a suitable strategy. Please note that not everything is lost for those with a history of sleep deprivation. Sandman is a milder and more merciful negotiator than an average bank clerk. 

The lord of sleep would advise you to go on a vacation, throw away your alarm clock, and close the blinds for a couple of weeks. Jokes aside, try visiting nature, hiking, or try some new form of physical activity. Also, this recharge may require that you sleep for 12 hours a night, but do not worry, just listen to your sleep-deprived body and enjoy your rest. 

In any event, it is always better to be safe than sorry because a systematic lack of sleep may cause serious consequences such as obesity, diabetes, car crashes and trauma, suicidal thoughts, etc. That said, we recommend sleep deprivation prevention. 

You can plan all of your activities regarding your sleeping schedule. Remember to put yourself and your sleep needs first. You wouldn’t leave your phone with a 2% battery, then why leave your body? 

Q: Can sleep deprivation cause permanent brain damage?

Yes, sleep deficit may incur permanent brain damage. We already know that the less college students and high-schooler sleep, the more likely they are to fail their exams. Students running low on fuel overuse some parts of their brain, sleep deprivation in college students statistics corroborate. If the brain is constantly forced to work in a different, unusual manner, it will permanently alter itself. 

Q: What are the stages of sleep deprivation?

Symptoms of sleep deficit are sometimes difficult to notice, so they may slip through the cracks of our hectic lifestyles. But don’t worry – we have got you covered on that front. First, we need to clarify that there are two types of sleep deficit – chronic and acute

The latter type is the one you have when, for example, you pull an allnighter at college or high school. Unlike this one-time event, chronic sleep deprivation appears as a result of a systematic lack of sleep and missing out on that much-needed shut-eye time.

Here are the typical stages of sleep deprivation process: 

  • Enhanced drowsiness and exhaustion 
  • Short attention span
  • Struggling to focus 
  • Decreased alertness
  • Higher chance of mishaps
  • Having a hard time staying awake 

Beware that signs of sleep deprivation in adults are elusive and try to notice them in time before it causes permanent damage to your health. 

Q: Can you recover from years of sleep deprivation?

Scientists say that it is possible to recover from short-time sleep loss. But the more time we spend sleepless, the harder it gets to make up for it. If you spend a longer period of time staying up all night or hitting the sack at three in the morning, you can compensate by having a long ”holiday in the countryside,” as the lads from the cult British film Withnail & I did. Just sleep and recharge your batteries. 

That being said, if you have spent years not having enough sleep, it will take a lot of time to recover. If you are not already experiencing long-term consequences of constant sleep deprivation, such as diabetes, cardiovascular, or neurological diseases, you should consider yourself lucky. Appreciate this new chance at a healthy life, start being mindful of your sleep cycle from now on, and avoid the possible risks of sleep deprivation.

And on that note…

Conclusion

All things considered, there is a pandemic of sleeplessness in America. Many people suffer from various sleeping disorders that affect their quality of life and well-being. 

Call Alaska Sleep Clinic today to speak with one of our board-certified sleep specialists and the quality AND quanity of sleep you need.

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