America Is Sleepy But Connected

According to the latest National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) 2011 Sleep in America® poll, respondents reported that they are dissatisfied with the amount of sleep that they get during the week and technology is used extensively before bedtime.

The NSF poll (n=1,508) found that 43% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights. Roughly one in five aged 13-29 rate as “sleepy” using a standard clinical assessment tool (included in the poll) compared to about one in ten 30-64 year olds.

The survey also documented extensive use of technology. According to the report, “Americans report very active technology use in the hour before trying to sleep. Almost everyone surveyed, 95%, uses some type of electronics like a television, computer, video game or cell phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed.” The heaviest use was reported by those under 30.

Coping with sleepiness

The survey also asked respondents how they coped with sleepiness and the results show that Americans are coping with sleepiness by drinking caffeine and taking regular naps. The average person on a weekday drinks about three 12 ounce caffeinated beverages, with little difference between age groups.


Sleepiness also played a factor in safe driving practices. A third (30%) of 13-18 year olds and half (50%) of 19-29 year old group say they drove while drowsy at least once in the past month. More than a third (40%) of 30-45 year old group and approximately a third (28%) of those between 46-64 years of age also say so.

2011 Sleep in America® poll
Summary of findings (pdf)