Study: 2023 Was Exhausting For A Third Of Americans



Feeling tired?

You’re not alone, as 37% of U.S. adults slept worse in 2023 than in previous years, according to a recent survey by content provider Sleep Foundation, which has “affiliate relationships with most of the companies in the sleep product industry.”

The worst sleepers? Gen Z, says the publisher.

Sleep Foundation also cited Google Trends as showing that searches for the word “sleep” hit an all-time high during the year.

How are people trying to improve their sleep? The number one way, the poll found, is “showering before bed “(chosen by 45%), followed by “exercising more” and “waking up earlier,” (tied at 27%), then “using a weighted blanket” and “keeping a bedroom window open” (tied at 26%). Then there’s “limiting or avoiding caffeine” (25%), and finally, “turning off my phone at bedtime” (19%).



Dr. Abhinav Singh, medical director of the Indiana Sleep Center and a member of the Sleep Foundation’s medical review panel, agreed with that last tactic, but said in a statement that sufferers from poor sleep should generally avoid most “tips and hacks” found on the Internet.

The Sleep Foundation highlighted some popular (but seemingly useless) TikTok better-sleep hacks of 2023, including bed rotting (lounging in bed all day by choice) and “Sleepy Girl Mocktails” (mixing up tart cherry juice-based concoctions).

The Sleep Foundation also quoted Dr. Sarah Silverman, a behavioral sleep medicine specialist not to be confused with the comedian of the same name. “Millions of people are living in a chronic stress state, which leads to numbing behaviors such as watching Netflix for hours or mindlessly scrolling social media to avoid daily stressors,” she said.

“Just as we do not value tips or hacks for cancer, heart disease, and neurological diseases,” said Dr. Singh, “we should start focusing on techniques, steps, and healthy sleep routines.”

To help people do that, the Sleep Foundation has launched a sleep hotline that provides “tips, meditations, and bedtime stories to calm your mind for a good night’s sleep.”

Meanwhile, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Harmony Biosciences have provided sponsorship funding for the launch of a separate sleep hotline run by nonprofit Project Sleep. This one is only open weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm ET,  but offers one-to-one personalized support for Americans with chronic sleep disorders. That group numbers between 50 to 70 million people, Project Sleep said.

The Sleep Foundation, by the way, is not to be confused with the pharma/medtech-backed nonprofit National Sleep Foundation, whose own annual poll, released in March focused on the strong link between poor sleep and mental health.

The Sleep Foundation’s survey was conducted via Pollfish in November  of 1,000 U.S. adults 18+.

A similar poll from 2022 is of special significance this week.

While mental health improves during the holidays “because you get community,” the research found, sleep health suffers due to bad sleep hygiene and/or holiday-related stress.

The worst night for sleep? New Year’s Eve.

People who celebrate that night get 51.5 minutes less sleep than normal, the research found. For party hosts, it’s even worse: 53 to 83 minutes less sleep.

Over half of respondents (52.1%) said they sleep less on New Year’s Eve, with parties and events being the primary reason (53%).

In all, people lost an average of 39 minutes, 23 seconds sleep daily over the December holidays, the survey found.

But the results varied widely depending on which holiday was being celebrated. Respondents who observed Christmas slept an average of 32 minutes, 35 seconds less (waiting up for Santa?) and those who observed Hanukkah slept 37 minutes, 40 seconds less (eight days, not one?). But those who observed Kwanzaa slept 45 minutes more each night.


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