We summed up over 200,000 nights of sleep data.
This is what we found.
Whether you’re an athlete or just have high awareness of your health, there’s a good chance you’re using an app or smart device to monitor your vital signs, from heart rate to blood pressure and body temperature. According to recent market research, 19% of American adults wear a fitness tracker such as a Fitbit or smartwatch, and another 19% track their health statistics using an app on their smartphone or tablet. While athletes and life optimizers understand sleep plays a major role in health promotion and performance, the trend of self monitoring isn’t just popular among them nowadays, as it’s also dominating the world of sleep; current research estimates that 15% of U.S adults regularly use an app to track their sleep data, while another 18% do so occasionally.
Over the course of 2019, we’ve gathered and analyzed sleep data of more than 200,000 nights, collected from various types of subjective and objective sources, and found some interesting trends that can tell us a lot about how we are sleeping, how much of it we are actually getting, when we are sleeping, the quality of our sleep and who among us is prioritizing their sleep.
Women are more sleep-conscious than men
Women are more active than men when it comes to tracking their sleep, our data tells us; 76% of the nights reported in 2019 are of women, while only 24% belong to men. That makes sense, as women tend to be more health-conscious than men: According to a study at Oxford University, women are much more active in seeking health-related information compared to men, and are more attentive to how the goods they purchase in everyday life affect their health. Sleep, to point out, is one of the 4 main pillars of health, alongside nutrition, physical exercise and emotional well-being.
“Unfortunately, sleep is a core pillar that has received less press and is often neglected. The key is to pay equal attention to each pillar, as ignoring one could impact your ability to sustain the others. So sleeping well will not only make us feel rested, but will help us be more active, eat better, and feel at our best” says Dr. Mairav Cohen-Zion, clinical psychologist and sleep specialist, and Chief Science Officer at dayzz.
How much sleep do people get?
According to the data we collected, more than 35% of the nights reported are of less than 6 hours of sleep per night. While sleep needs are individual, the recommended amount of sleep for adults is between 7 to 9 hours a night; that means that about a third the nights don’t even reach the minimum of 7 hours, which makes them significantly lack in sleep. The data correspond with a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that 1 in 3 American adults aren’t getting enough sleep on a regular basis; that makes this phenomenon a serious, national-scale epidemic.
Dr. Mairav Cohen-Zion added: “The hidden health consequences of chronic insufficient sleep have become more apparent in the last couple of decades. Chronic health conditions, common in our modern world and lifestyle, such as diabetes, hypertension, depression, excessive weight and obesity, and other mental health issues have all been linked to inappropriate sleep”.
How long does it take to fall asleep?
Our data shows that there’s large variability in the time it takes us to fall asleep: About 15% of sleep trackers reveal more than half an hour to do so, while a considerable percentage of the nights logged show a 5-10 minute period to fall asleep. A healthy time frame for drifting off to sleep is 20 minutes, which means that people who usually fall asleep as soon as they hit the pillow have a significantly strong sleep drive; this can indicate sleep deprivation due to low sleep duration or poor quality sleep over a period of time.
Another interesting finding is the difference between group ages: Almost 20% of users aged 20-35 reported more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, while about only 7% of users aged 18-20 reported the same.
How efficient is your sleep?
Sleep efficiency is the ratio of the total sleep time compared to the total time spent in bed. Healthy sleep efficiency is about 85%, meaning we slept for 85% of our the time we allocated for sleep (our night) and were awake for 15% of that time.
Almost a quarter of all nights tracked in 2019 show an unhealthy sleep efficiency of below 85%. While this isn’t good news, it means we are not maximizing our time in bed for sleep. A possible explanation could be our modern, hectic lifestyle. Many of us struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance, as there are just too many stressors and worries which may keep us from getting the sleep we need. While a relatively low sleep efficiency is common during short periods of time, it’s best to evaluate our sleep in case this issue is ongoing.
What is considered a good night’s sleep?
Our sense of sleep quality is subjective and highly individual, and depends on how we perceive our nightly sleep, as well as how refreshed we feel the next day. Almost half of the monitored nights in 2019 show a self-reported sleep quality lower than 6 (out of 10), which is quite a shame and could be reflective of an underlying sleep issue.
Our vision at dayzz is that we can all get great quality sleep, the type that makes us feel refreshed and energized in the morning and ready for the day. What if we could wake up feeling like that every morning?
While the conversation today is mainly around the amount of sleep we get (for better or worse), less discussed is the quality of our sleep, which may be poor even when we are getting sufficient amounts of sleep. Such low quality sleep can have many causes, among them a range of sleep conditions which can be evaluated and treated.
How many times do people wake up at night?
Waking up in the middle of the night is natural and isn’t a cause for alarm, as one of the most common reasons for that is the need to go to the bathroom. While it happens to almost everyone from time to time, waking up during the night becomes an issue when it happens too frequently in a single night and disrupts our sleep continuity or quality. About 65% of logged nights show zero to one awakenings, while 33% show over 3.
Tracking sleep for better nights
Aside from getting valuable information about your nightly rest, another great advantage of tracking your sleep is that it simply increases your awareness of getting enough of it; day-to-day life often takes over, and with the commitments of work, family and other things - it’s important to prioritize sleep for better health, productivity and basically everything else.
If you have a suitable device, keeping track of your sleep has never been easier: wearable activity trackers, sensors that go under your mattress, and more, make it as simple as possible to get a valuable glimpse into your nightly rest; you can get insights about the time you get in and out of bed, the time it takes you to fall asleep, your sleep efficiency, the number of wake ups during the night, and even the stages of your sleep. There’s a good chance you’d be surprised to find that your sleep patterns don’t exactly match what you thought you knew about your sleep.
If you don’t have a sleep tracking device, tracking your sleep manually is totally worthwhile and should be a top priority to better understand your sleep gaps and needs; whether you choose an app or the old-fashioned pen and paper tracking, it only takes a moment to complete and will help take control over your sleep for better nights and days.
Together is better
While tracking your sleep has many advantages, we know how interpreting your sleep data on your own might be confusing at times, and that’s what we at dayzz are here for; with dayzz sleep app, you can leverage your sleep data to gain valuable insights and actionable recommendations as part of a sleep training plan that suits just you. We get to know your lifestyle and sleep habits, then assess your sleep issues or difficulties and provide you with a personal plan that adjusts continually according to your sleep goals and your individual progress.