OUR TOXIC CULTURE OF SLEEP
Research from Sleep Number’s Social Command Center shows that some of the most popular online searches around sleep revolve around how little sleep people can get away with. People search things like “How little sleep do I need?” and “Can I function with 4 hours of sleep?”
This is all part of a troubling thread in our culture. We glorify people who sacrifice sleep for their jobs, their families, their communities. We also demonize people who sleep a lot as if that makes them lazy or uncommitted. There’s a level of guilt in taking care of ourselves and saying we need a break.
THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE*
- 52% of Americans report being sleepy during the day
- Only 3% of Americans say they are currently having the best sleep of their life
- 30% of Americans say their sleep over the last 12 months has gotten worse
- Over half (54%) of Americans made “improving the quality of their sleep” one of their New Year’s resolutions for 2018
DON’T PLAY GAMES WITH SLEEP. SLEEP IS TOO IMPORTANT.**
According to one estimate, we lose $63.2 billion every year in the U.S. from lost productivity due to inadequate sleep. On a personal level, sleep affects everything from our physical health to our energy level, memory, attentiveness, agility, creativity, resourcefulness, relationships with others and more. Poor sleep = unhappy life.
On the other hand, quality sleep is almost a miracle of goodness. Our bodies recover faster and perform better with adequate sleep. We look better, feel better and make better decisions when we are well-rested.
The nation’s sleep deficit — both the quantity and quality of sleep — is a serious, unmet health need. While people have come to understand the importance of diet and exercise for good health, the essential role of sleep is often overlooked.
So, while you practice your new sleep schedule, take some time to explore your attitude about sleep. It’s quite possible you haven’t given much thought to how you sleep.
Here are some prompts for your sleep journal to get you started:
- How did your household view sleep when you were growing up? Was it valued? Or were sleep and rest seen as optional?
- Do you admire people who say they don’t need sleep?
- Do you ever wish you slept less and lived more?
- Do you think of sleep as a reward for hard work?
- Do you ever take a sleep aid to help you fall asleep?
- Do you ever brag about pulling an all-nighter?
- Do you think everyone is capable of getting quality sleep, or only some people?
These questions are also great conversation starters for you, your family or a Sleep Champion. As you engage in this challenge we hope you start thinking more about what sleep means to you and to the people you care about. The Sleep30® Challenge by Sleep Number is about changing habits and behaviors, but it’s also about changing attitudes and beliefs.
* Sleep ’17 Survey included a total of 1,500 nationally representative U.S. residents, 18+ years of age. Surveys were conducted online by Talk Shoppe, LLC. between Nov. 7-9, 2017 on behalf of Sleep Number®.
***Participant received InnerCircle loyalty points for doing challenge.