Although one in three Americans does not get enough sleep, most averaged an additional 7.5 hours of sleep each year from 2003 to 2016, finds a study conducted at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and published in the journal Sleep. This amount may not seem like much, but this is the first analysis to show some success in the fight against sleep deprivation.
The study involved 181,335 people over age 15 who responded to the American Time Use Survey (ATUS). According to the researchers, average daily sleep duration increased by 1.4 minutes on weekdays and 0.8 minutes on weekends per year. Over the course of the 14-year study period, that amounts to 17.3 more minutes of sleep each night and 4.4 more days of sleep each year.
The added sleep was primarily due to going to bed earlier, and to a lesser extent, waking up later. The researchers also discovered that fewer survey respondents reported reading or watching TV before bed, two activities that commonly cut into sleep time.