Updated: January 19, 2020
Over the past ten years, sleep research has accelerated at a pace never seen before. Organizations like the Sleep Research Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health have shed more light on the importance of sleep. It is now known as the "third pillar" of good health.
In an effort to keep track of key findings, we are tracking updates from trusted sources as it is published. Our goal is to simplify the key facts that come out of that research into our resources throughout the site and the statistics below. If you feel we have missed something that you think should be included, please let us know.
General Sleep Statistics
Average Sleep Times
- Americans sleep 6.8 hours per day on average, down more than an hour from 1942.
- 59% of Americans get 7 or more hours of sleep at night, while 40% get less than 7 hours.1
Opinions About Amount of Sleep Needed, by Reported Number of Hours of Sleep
|Get as much sleep as needed||Would feel better with more sleep|
|Six hours or less|
|Eight hours or more|
Source: Gallup, Dec. 5-8, 2013
Sleep Needs Statistics
- Sleep needs by age as defined by the June 13, 2016, American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommendations that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has endorsed.2
|Age||Recommended Amount of Sleep|
|Infants aged 4-12 months||12-16 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 1-2 years||11-14 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 3-5 years||10-13 hours a day (including naps)|
|Children aged 6-12 years||9-12 hours a day|
|Teens aged 13-18 years||8-10 hours a day|
|Adults aged 18 years or older||7–8 hours a day|
- Differences in sleep needs range from about 5 minutes favoring men to about 28 minutes favoring women.3 The NIH found a variety of factors tied to this.
- Women need on average 20 minutes more of sleep.4
Sleep Deprivation Statistics
- Adults need 7 hours or more of sleep per night for optimal health5. The statistics below define short sleep as less than 24 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.
Prevalence of Short Sleep Duration (<7 hours) for Adults Aged ≥ 18 Years, by County, United States, 2014
- About one-in-four people age 18 to 24 say that they don't sleep well because of technology.5
- Sleep deprivation increases the expectation of gains and decreases the estimation of possible losses.6
- Decision making in "high-stakes, real-world situations" is impaired when someone is experiencing sleep loss.7
- Shift Work Sleep Disorder is a recognized medical condition for 20 percent of U.S. shift workers.8
Sleep Disorders Statistics
Sleep disorders are very common. The NIH compiled the data below to support clinical practice guidelines for sleep disorders.9
|Obstructive sleep apnea*||14%|
|Restless legs syndrome*||2%|
|Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder||10%|
|Advanced sleep-wake phase disorder||1%|
|Shift worker disorder||2%|
|*Data from Indian adult population|
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that leads to habitual sleeplessness or an inability to sleep.
- The yearly workplace cost in the US due to insomnia is an estimated $63.2 billion.10
- One in four women suffers from insomnia.11 This makes them twice as likely as men to have insomnia.12
- Approximately 6% of adults suffer from insomnia.13
Hypersomnia is a sleep disorder that leads to excessive daytime sleepiness or time spent sleeping.
- 4% to 6% of the general population have hypersomnia.14
- Because sleep apnea syndrome leads to hypersomnia, there is a higher prevalence of this disorder in men.15
- Narcolepsy only effects 0.026% of the general population. It is caused by the inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. 16
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a potentially serious sleeping disorder that causes people to repeatedly stop and start breathing during sleep.
- 5% to 20% of the adult population is affected by OSAS when assessed with sleep tests.17
- It is seen in 1% to 3% of children of preschool age.18
- OSAS prevalence is as high as 10% to 20% in children who habitually snore.19
Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder characterized by overwhelming urges to move the legs to relieve unpleasant twitching or tickling sensations.
- 11% to 29% of pregnant women are affected by RLS.
- 25% to 50% of patients with end-stage renal disease have Restless Legs Syndrome
- Limb twitching during sleep occurs in 80% of patients with RLS.20
Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder
Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD) is a sleep disorder characterized by a delayed day and night cycle causing someone to typically go to bed and wake later.
Note that statistics vary widely on this condition as the consistency around definitions and diagnostic criteria tend to vary widely.
- 51% of patients with DSWPD have had a lifetime history of depression.
- 59% of adolescents with this disorder demonstrated poor academic performance and 45% had behavioral problems.21
- A prevalence of up to 8 percent has been reported in American teenagers.22
Advanced Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder
Advanced sleep phase disorder (ASPD) or advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS) is a sleep disorder characterized by a shift in the circadian rhythm causing someone to typically go to bed earlier and wake earlier.
Characterized by a correct quantity of sleep at undesired times of the day. Approximate averages are 8-9pm bedtimes and 4-5am awakenings. This disorder is not yet commonly understood.
- There is a 50% chance of passing ASPD on to children.23
Shift Worker Disorder
Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness and insomnia in people whose work schedule overlap with normal sleep times.
- 20% of the working population in Europe and North America is engaged in shiftwork24
- The sleep-wake disturbance is severe enough to warrant diagnosis as SWSD in about 5 to 10 percent of night-shift workers.
- 37.5% of post night-shift drives have been considered unsafe during testing.25
- Jones, Jeffrey. (December 19, 2013). https://news.gallup.com/poll/166553/less-recommended-amount-sleep.aspx
- American Academy of Pediatrics Endorsement of Childhood Sleep Guidelines. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Supports-Childhood-Sleep-Guidelines.aspx
- Gender and Time for Sleep among U.S. Adults. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164903/
- Dr. Jim Horne. " Who REALLY needs more sleep - men or women? One of Britain's leading sleep experts says he has the answer." Daily Mail, January 26, 2010. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1246029/Who-REALLY-needs-sleep--men-women-One-Britains-leading-sleep-experts-says-answer.html
- TIME Mobility Poll, in cooperation with Qualcomm. August 2012. https://www.qualcomm.com/media/documents/files/time-mobility-poll-in-cooperation-with-qualcomm.pdf
- Sleep Deprivation Can Threaten Competent Decision-making. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. May 5, 2007. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070501075246.htm
- Oxford University Press. https://academic.oup.com/journals
- Shift Work Sleep Disorder. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12146-shift-work-sleep-disorder
- Clinical Practice Guidelines for Sleep Disorders. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5310097/
- US National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. "Insomnia and the performance of US workers: results from the America insomnia survey." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21886353
- Kessler, R.C., Berglund, P.A., Coulouvrat, C., Hajak, G., Roth, T., Shahly, V., et al. (2011). "Insomnia and the performance of US workers: results from the America insomnia survey. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21886353 34(9): 1161-1171.
- Deirdre Conroy, PH.D. (June 13, 2016). https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/health-management/3-reasons-women-are-more-likely-to-have-insomnia
- Roth, Thomas. (2007 August 15). "Insomnia: Definition, Prevalence, Etiology, and Consequences." Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1978319/
- Billiard M., Dauvilliers Y. Narcolepsy In: Billiard M, ed. Sleep: Physiology Investigations and Medicine. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. 2003:403–406.
- Billiard M. Hypersomnias. In: Billiard M, ed. Sleep: Physiology Investigations and Medicine. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.
Annu Rev Med. 1976; 27():465-84.
- Weaver TE, George CFP, “Cognition and Performance in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea,” in Kryger M, Roth T, Dement W (ed.), Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (5th Edition), St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2011, pages 1194-1205.
- Mindell JA, Owens JA. Diagnosis and Management of Sleep Problems. A Clinical Guide to Pediatric Sleep. Philadelphia. PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2003.
- Marcus CL. Pathophysiology of childhood obstructive sleep apnea: current concepts. Resp Physiol. 2000;119:143-154
- Mansur, Abeera. National Center for Biotechnology Information. National Institutes of Health. "Restless Leg Syndrome" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21886353
- Thorpy MJ, Korman E, Spielman AJ, Glovinsky PB. US National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. "Delayed sleep phase syndrome in adolescents." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=3335467
- Saxvig IW, Pallesen S, Wilhelmsen-Langeland A, Molde H, Bjorvatn B. "Prevalence and correlates of delayed sleep phase in high school students." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=22153780
- Paine, S.J., Fink, J. 2014. Identifying advanced and delayed sleep phase disorders in the general population: a national survey of New Zealand adults. Chronobiol Int, 31, 627-36.
- Kurt S (December 2007). "IARC Monographs Programme finds cancer hazards associated with shiftwork, painting and firefighting" (Press release). International Agency for Research on Cancer.
- Lee ML, Howard ME, Horrey WJ, Liang Y, Anderson C, Shreeve MS, O'Brien CS, Czeisler CA (January 2016). "High risk of near-crash driving events following night-shift work". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4711869/
- Division of Population Health. https://www.cdc.gov/NCCDPHP/dph/
- National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/
- Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, et al.; Consensus Conference Panel. Joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society on the recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: methodology and discussion. Sleep. 2015;38:1161–1183.
- Zhang X, Holt JB, Lu H, et al. Multilevel regression and poststratification for small area estimation of population health outcomes: a case study of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease prevalence using BRFSS. Am J Epidemiol. 2014;179(8):1025-1033.
- Paruthi S, Brooks LJ, D’Ambrosio C, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for pediatric populations: a consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. J Clin Sleep Med. 2016;12(6):785–786.
- CDC - Data and Statistics. Short Sleep Duration Among US adults. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html
- Wheaton AG, Olsen EO, Miller GF, Croft JB. Sleep duration and injury-related risk behaviors among high school students — United States, 2007–2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65:337–341. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6513a1.htm