As 2020 comes to a close, there’s no denying that this was a tough year. On top of everything else, a new study says Americans collectively lost 30 billion hours of sleep this year.

According to the survey, which was commissioned by Serta Simmons Beddingand conducted by Kelton, Americans’ sleep schedules were deeply impacted by the stresses of 2020. In addition to the 30 billion hours of lost sleep since March, the study also uncovered: 

  • 139 million Americans admit that the pandemic has caused them to become a night owl and stay up later than they used to. 
  • Anxiety is the #1 reason Americans are losing sleep since the pandemic. 
  • More than one in two Americans admit they are spending more time in their beds this year, but that doesn’t mean they are getting more sleep. 
  • Close to one-quarter of Americans admit to getting less sleep because night time is the only time they truly have to themselves. 
  • 55% of Americans feel like they are getting more restless sleep each night because of the pandemic. 
  • Nearly twice as many Americans are getting less sleep than more sleep each night. One in three of those getting less sleep each night since the pandemic began say it’s because they are spending time on social media when they should be sleeping.

Since Americans aren’t getting the sleep they need this year, Serta Simmons Bedding offered some tips for optimal sleep, as well. The first thing sleepless Americans need to pay attention to is stimuli—aka anything that may trigger a response from the body. Here are three tips to help you avoid too much stimulation around bedtime:

Avoid Technology: Before bedtime, put your phone on “do not disturb” mode and avoid checking email, watching the news or scanning social media – no need to get worked up before catching those Z’s.

Limit Late Night Eating: Avoid eating right before bed as it ramps up your digestive track which can keep your body awake.

Eliminate Vigorous Exercise: Limit exercise right before bed as it raises our core temperature and heart rate which is counterproductive to what our sleep regulation system is trying to do.

The next thing you need to pay attention to in order to ensure optimal sleep is your environment. Here are three tips to give yourself the best sleeping environment possible:

Optimally Set Your Thermostat: Find the perfect sleep temperature for you and set your thermostat to that temperature 90 minutes before bed. A cooler bedroom can help the body cool down and allow you to easily fall asleep.

Note: Although science points to general rules of thumb for creating the perfect sleep experience, if you’re struggling to fall asleep, experiment with different temperatures and nighttime routines to find the solution that’s right for you personally.

Circulate Bedroom Air: Turning on the fan before bed can help promote air circulation and turning down the sheets while the fan is on and the thermostat is cooler, can help mentally prepare you for going to bed and falling asleep.

Invest In Bedtime Products: A quality mattress and sheets are important for a restful sleep and depending on your preference, an air purifier can make it easier to breath while sleeping and a noise masking machine can be useful for those easily affected by sound.

How was your sleep experience in 2020?