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What's Your Bedtime Routine? Survey Finds Americans' Favorites
  • Posted January 10, 2024

What's Your Bedtime Routine? Survey Finds Americans' Favorites

A hot shower, a glass of wine, a good book and sex are a few of Americans' favorite ways to unwind at bedtime, a new survey shows.

"What defines a comfortable night's sleep varies from person to person, but developing a consistent sleep routine that removes distraction is a big first step in building a habit of good sleep health," said Dr. James Rowley, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

A successful routine should lead to seven or more hours of shuteye, he said in an AASM news release.

"Going to bed at the same time each night is one of the keys to a successful and healthy sleep routine, yet only about one-third of people are doing it," said Rowley, director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship at RUSH University Medical Center in Chicago.

About 39% of survey respondents take a bath or shower first; 30% shut off electronics; and 29% read. A quarter have sex.

About 1 in 5 meditate, do breathing exercises or stretch. Twenty-two percent have a cup of tea or other non-alcoholic beverage, while 15% use alcohol to unwind. Twenty percent have a cigarette or vape and 19% smoke marijuana.

Many rely on accessories to help them nod off, including fans (47%), black-out curtains (29%), weighted blankets or sleep masks (20% each), noise machines or apps (18%), and ear plugs (16%).

Nearly a quarter rely on an alarm clock with wake-up lights to get going.

Even if they manage to get to sleep, noise and light often jolt them awake, the survey found. Thirty-six percent said their sleep is always or often wake disrupted by outside noise, while more than one-third were bothered by indoor or outdoor lights.

"The new year provides the perfect time to reset habits to make sure that healthy sleep is a priority," Rowley said.

The online survey of 2,005 adults in the U.S. was conducted March 24-29, 2023. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

More information

SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, Jan. 8, 2024

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