A recent BSC study finds nearly half of U.S. adults say they don’t get enough sleep — and reveals opportunities.
The Power of Numbers
Want to get ahead in the mattress industry? Be a student of the numbers.
That’s a key bit of advice that I want to share with my industry friends as I approach the sunset of my mattress career. It’s advice that a wise home furnishings veteran shared with me almost 40 years ago — and that I was smart enough to apply to my work in the industry.
There are a lot of strong opinions in the mattress industry, and that’s fine. But there is something even more important than those opinions — the facts that may or may not support them.
In my extensive travels in the industry, I made it a practice to get feedback and insights on industry reports and surveys. I closely followed the statistical reports released by the International Sleep Products Association, and I regularly asked industry leaders to share their thoughts on the implications of those findings. I also closely followed consumer research released by the industry’s Better Sleep Council and also got industry insights on that research.
In addition, I reported and reflected on various surveys issued by industry analysts.
Embracing Industry Analysis
In my talks to industry groups over the past few decades, ISPA, BSC and analysts’ reports gave me key data points to share with my audiences to challenge and stimulate their thinking on industry issues. That, I firmly believe, is how we build a better industry. First, we have to look honestly at where we are and what is driving our performance. Then we can talk about where we are heading — and what that might mean for the industry. Those discussions should be driven by industry metrics.
And, along the way, we should examine new issues that pop up and add them to the ever-evolving dynamics that swirl through the mattress industry. The BSC’s research on mattress sustainability issues is a good example. It shows that many consumers say they will pay a premium for a sustainable mattress. That’s a significant finding.
BSC research released earlier this year adds new insights into consumers’ attitudes about sleep and their sleep habits. A key finding is that nearly half of U.S. adults (48%) say they do not get enough sleep, and most adults are less than very satisfied with the quality of their sleep.
Those are intriguing findings that deserve industry analysis. My quick reactions: I’m a bit surprised that, as we emerge from the challenges of Covid-19, more adults aren’t more pleased with the quality of their sleep. I would have thought our home-focused months of Covid isolation would have increased our appreciation of the importance of a good night’s sleep. Perhaps it did, but these latest findings show we still have a way to go. That’s OK. It’s called
Enhancing Sleep Quality
And that BSC research helpfully pinpoints some of the ways we can help consumers boost their sleep satisfaction. A key one is sleep hygiene, the things that we do around bedtime to get us ready — or not — for a good night’s sleep.
The BSC research finds that 66% of adults use their smartphones in bed, 60% watch video content, 33% read and 33% listen to audio content weekly or more. Screen time too close to bed can be a sleep thief. Better to put the devices aside and pick up a good book. That, in my humble opinion, is a better way to prepare for the land of Nod.
Another key finding is that two in 10 adults (22%) sleep with a pet every day or nearly every day. Pets can also be sleep thieves, particularly if your mattress isn’t big enough to accommodate everyone comfortably. Sorry, Fido. You may need to sleep on your own mattress. (And that’s another opportunity for the mattress industry — pet beds.)
The research also affirms the importance of a good mattress. Almost three-quarters of U.S. adults say that comfort is the most important quality they look for in a new mattress. That is especially true for adults dissatisfied with their sleep.
We can help those consumers sleep better by helping them find a comfortable mattress. Let’s get to work on that opportunity.