NEW YORK — Getting a good night’s sleep is a just as much as challenge as it is a priority for many of us, which is why people often turn to various nighttime “rituals” before and after hitting the sack. A new survey that delves into these common bedtime routines among American adults finds that a third still sleep with a “comfort object” from childhood.
The survey of 2,000 adults, commissioned by the sleep-industry experts from Sleepopolis, reveals 34% still snuggle with a stuffed animal, blanket, or other anxiety-reducing item of sentimental value. The finding highlights the importance of ensuring a night of high-quality sleep, which just 27% of respondents say they get on the regular.
Forty-one percent of respondents say they can’t fall asleep on time without turning to some sort of ritual before bed. Among the most popular were:
- checking to make sure the doors were locked (32%)
- listening to music (30%)
- watching a specific TV show or movie (28%)
- playing around on their phone (28%)
- reading a book (27%)
- taking a warm bath or shower (26%)
- eating a snack (21%)
- taking vitamins or supplements (18%)
- drinking cup of tea (16%)
For 26% of participants, they rely on an unconventional method to tire themselves out, such as thinking about alligators, putting their legs on the wall, or rocking themselves to sleep. And of course, many others turn to sex. Seventeen percent say a bedtime romp with a partner or even masturbating is an effective way to ensure some sound slumber.
“Finding a nighttime routine that fits your schedule and lifestyle can make a huge difference when it comes to your sleep,” says Logan Block, the director of content at Sleepopolis, in a statement. “While everyone needs to find what works for them, taking time to relax and prepare for bed can improve the quality of your sleep and help you to be more productive the next day.”
Despite all the effort many of us put in to bedtime routines, the survey finds that even people who regularly get high-quality sleep still report having two nights of poor sleep each week. That’s compared to four nights of tossing and turning for low-quality sleepers.
Having the thermostat set to something comfortable was the most important factor when it comes to proper bedroom setting — 65% of respondents agree that’s a must. Sixty-three percent also require comfortable pillows, while, surprisingly, just 57% say they need a quality mattress for good rest.
“While it can be beneficial to have a routine, having a comfortable space to sleep is also incredibly important in helping increase the quality of your sleep,” says Block.
Most participants (65%) say they go to bed at the same time every night and nearly the same number (64%) wake up at the same time each morning. As for the most common bedtime for Americans? The survey found the average person hits the sack at 9:34 p.m.
The survey was conducted by market research group OnePoll.