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ALEXANDRIA, VA – November 12, 2019 – While the holidays are a very social time of year, they can also be a very lonely time for many people. The Better Sleep Council (BSC), the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), released its latest research findings from The State of America’s Sleep study. These findings can help Americans identify how isolation and sleep may further impact their holiday pressures.
Read the report.
This new wave of research analyzed the relationship between quality of sleep and loneliness. For instance, over half of those who are isolated are more likely to be female (55%), compared to over half of men who are not isolated (53%). When looking at the different generations, people between the ages of 18 and 34 were the most isolated group and were more likely to sleep poorly, compared to their older counterparts.
According to a study by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 31% of people ages 18 and over felt lonely during the holiday season sometime during the past five years, and 41% have worried about a family member or friend feeling lonesome. Not asking for help, feeling the need to complete everything yourself, and overall stress and anxiety can all trigger feelings of isolation and loneliness that may contribute to a lack of sleep. The BSC research revealed three findings shared by poor sleepers who felt isolated.
The top three findings from the research were that the worst sleepers tend to have difficult interpersonal relationships, have financial challenges or are heavy social media users. These individuals may struggle with the following:
“We all know that the holiday season is supposed to be ʽthe most wonderful time of the year,’ but it actually could be one of the loneliest times of the year for many people,” said Mary Helen Rogers, vice president of marketing and communications for the Better Sleep Council. “Not only do these people feel isolated, but they’re also having trouble getting back to sleep and are frequently waking up tired in the morning. Holiday pressures are often to blame. If we can provide these people with tips on how to improve their sleep habits as we approach the holidays, then hopefully we can help them feel less isolated.”
People such as the elderly, empty nesters and those who are grieving the loss of a loved one could be more prone to experiencing loneliness during the holiday season. Interestingly, the BSC research found that these older generations and retired individuals are less socially isolated in America. Contrary to popular belief, those who are not isolated are more likely to be aged 55+ (39%), compared to those who are isolated (26%). Additionally, those who are not isolated are more likely to be retired (26%), compared to those who are isolated (15%).
*2,000 surveys were fielded from April 10-18, 2019, among a representative sample of U.S. adults (age 18+). Analysis was conducted to establish a Sleep Index (SI) that can be used to track America’s sleep quality over time. The index was used to create three groups, which are poor sleepers, average sleepers and excellent sleepers.
View the full report.
About the BSC
The Better Sleep Council is the consumer-education arm of the International Sleep Products Association, the trade association for the mattress industry. With decades invested in improving sleep quality, the BSC educates consumers on the link between sleep and health, and the role of the sleep environment, primarily through www.bettersleep.org, partner support and consumer outreach.