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35 Incredible Sleep Statistics and Facts

Whether you’re a fast sleeper or find yourself tossing and turning for hours on end before actually dozing off, have you ever wondered how the rest of the world sleeps? Read on to find out about some interesting sleep statistics we’ve gathered.

General Statistics

  1. Sleep statistics show that on average, people fall asleep within seven minutes of getting in bed. Falling asleep much faster than that could mean you’re sleep-deprived.
  2. The deepest stage of sleep, REM sleep, takes place only 20% of the time we spend asleep. Non-REM sleep stages comprise the remaining 80%.

  3. About 1% of people are “short sleepers.” They have a gene mutation that lets them get the benefits of a full eight hours of sleep in six hours or less. Research suggests they enter deep sleep sooner.
  4. 67% of married people experience healthy amounts of sleep. More than singles (62%) and much more than those separated, widowed, or divorced, of whom only 56% get enough sleep.
  5. A study into how sleep relates to income found that a one-hour increase in average weekly sleep corresponded to a 1.1% increase in earnings potential in the short term. In the long term, the extra sleep produced a 5% increase in earnings potential.
  6. People sleep the longest, on average, in New Zealand. At seven hours and thirty minutes per night, New Zealanders outpace Americans by about half an hour.
  7. The most popular sleeping position is the fetal position, with over 41% of adults reporting it. The least popular is sleeping on one’s stomach, with only about 7% of adherents.
  8. Women dream equally about both sexes, whereas men dream about other men about 70% of the time.
  9. For every night of sleep missed, college freshmen are 14% more likely to drop a class.
  10. In a 2009 study, 37.9% of people reported falling asleep unintentionally at work or at other times during the day in the last month.
  11. A study in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine found that a new mattress was effective in reducing the participants’ back pain by 48% and improving sleep by over 50%.
  12. Sleeping fewer than seven hours per night is associated with premature death. People who get less than seven hours are 12% more likely to die prematurely.
  13. Fewer than seven hours of sleep is associated with weight gain. 33% of people sleeping less than seven hours are above average in weight.
  14. A 2008 study found that around 34% of employers allow their employees to take naps during breaks, and approximately 16% also provide an area where napping can take place.
  15. Chinese people are more likely to use sleep medications than any other nationality.
  16. The incidence of sleep deprivation is higher among teens, with over 97% of teenagers getting less than the recommended amount of sleep each night.

Statistics of Sleep Disorders

17. 5-10% of adults and around 2-4% of children suffer from restless leg syndrome. RLS causes an irresistible urge to move one’s legs and can cause sleep disorders.

18. There are over 70 sleep disorders. The most common are insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and various movement disorders.


19. Around 7% of people suffer at least one episode of sleep paralysis in their lifetime. That number jumps to 31.9% among psychiatric patients.

20. Narcoleptic patients are often misdiagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or depression. Around 60% of cases are misdiagnosed.

Sleep Statistics for Americans

21. Most adults sleep less now than in years past. Americans averaged 7.9 hours of sleep in 1942 compared to only 6.8 in 2016.

22. Over a third of Americans don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep per night. The Centers for Disease Control call insufficient sleep a “public health epidemic.”

23. On average, Americans who reported to be in very good to excellent health sleep for 23 minutes longer than those in fair, good, or poor health.

24. Getting fewer than six hours of sleep each night can result in sleep deprivation. The number of Americans getting less than six hours of sleep per night rose by 31% since 1985.

25. Only about 10% of Americans prioritize sleep over fitness, work, hobbies, and social life, according to sleep statistics.

26. The RAND Corporation estimated that if everyone got the recommended amount of sleep per night, it would result in an economic increase of over $200 billion in the US.

27. Innerspring mattresses are the most popular mattress type. Almost half of Americans sleep on an innerspring mattress.

28. Sleep deprivation is one of the major causes of car accidents in the US. Estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tied some 72,000 crashes in 2016 to drowsy driving.

29. About 4% of Americans are reported falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the last 30 days.


30. Sleep deprivation is a contributing factor to medical errors that cause around 100,000 deaths each year in the US.

31. 91% of Americans agree that a good mattress is an important part of maintaining good health.

32. Around 90 million Americans cite snoring as the primary cause of sleep disruption.

33. Close to 1 in 2,000 people in the US suffer from narcolepsy. Only about 25% of sufferers are diagnosed and treated, according to studies.

34. Around 1 in 5 American adults report their sleep is interrupted by pain or physical discomfort a few nights a week.

35. According to sleep statistics, the United States is home to more than 4,700 sleep labs and research centers.