Americans are getting more shut-eye than before.
That’s according to data from 181,000 people, ages 15 and older, who took part in the American Time Use Survey between 2003 and 2016.
“Over 14 years, Americans were getting 17 more minutes of sleep every night, or a full four days more sleep per year,” says lead researcher Mathias Basner, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Sleep and Chronobiology in a Jan. 23 article on WebMD.com.
Awareness seems to be the key. Researchers note that Google searches about sleep have more than doubled and scientific papers about the consequences of getting too little sleep have increased more than 10 times between 2003 to 2016, according to the WebMD.com article.
Survey respondents went to bed earlier at night, the researchers found. “The percentage of respondents who watched TV or read before bed—two prominent waking activities competing with sleep—decreased over the same time period, suggesting that portions of the population are increasingly willing to trade time in leisure activities for more sleep. The results also suggest that increasing online opportunities to work, learn, bank, shop and perform administrative tasks from home freed up time that likely contributed to increased sleep duration,” Basner and his colleague David F. Dinges write in the study. The study was published online Jan. 8 in the journal Sleep.