Americans Report Sleeping Better, Two Years into the Pandemic

While the coronavirus continues to affect people worldwide, a recent survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine reveals that Americans seem to be sleeping better now compared with 2021 during the height of the pandemic. The 2022 survey found that nearly one-third of respondents (31%) say they have experienced “COVID-somnia” since the beginning of the pandemic, a 25% decrease compared with the 2021 survey (56%). 

“The stress and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic led to an increase in disruptions in our sleep quality and quantity,” said Jennifer Martin, a licensed clinical psychologist and president of the AASM. “While some people continue to experience subpar sleep, the good news is that the population is feeling the impact of ‘COVID-somnia’ less now than last year. For those still experiencing ongoing sleep problems, it may be time to speak with your doctor to determine the best course of action for improving your essential nightly sleep.” 

Sleep disturbances can affect people in different ways. Of those AASM survey respondents who reported experiencing sleep disturbances due to COVID-19, the most common issue was trouble falling or staying asleep (61%). Additional disturbances affecting U.S. adults included worse quality sleep (47%), sleeping less (39%) and more disturbing dreams (33%). 

If you are one of the 31% of Americans who continue to experience ongoing sleep problems or “COVID-somnia,” try implementing the following sleep hygiene tips to get your sleep back on track: 

  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule – Most adults should try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, regardless of pandemic-related changes to your typical work routine. It’s also important to go to bed and get up about the same time every day, including weekends. 
  • Turn off electronics – Reducing your screen time helps your body prepare for sleep, and avoiding news and social media before bed can reduce stress. Turn off your electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime. 
  • Follow a relaxing evening routine – Start unwinding at least 30 minutes before bedtime with quiet activities like reading, journaling, meditating, or relaxing by taking a warm bath or shower. 
  • Create a peaceful sleeping environment – A cool, quiet and dark room is best for sleeping. Keep TVs off and store smartphones and other devices outside your bedroom. At the very least, set your phone to silent mode. 

If these tips don’t help, talk to your health care provider about your ongoing sleep struggles or contact a specialist at an AASM-accredited sleep center near you. To learn more about the importance of healthy sleep and to find more sleep tips, visit SleepEducation.org. 

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About the Survey 

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine commissioned an online survey of 2,010 adults in the U.S. The overall margin of error fell within +/- 2 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent. Fieldwork took place between Feb. 17-24, 2022. Atomik Research is an independent market research agency. 

About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

Established in 1975, the AASM advances sleep care and enhances sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 11,000 accredited sleep centers and individuals, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals who care for patients with sleep disorders. As the leader in the sleep field, the AASM sets standards and promotes excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research (aasm.org).