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Sleep Anxiety America

 

They say a good conscience is the softest pillow. But the sleep industry has long profited of the idea that sleep is a complicated science.

Americans spend an average of $200 annually on sleep aids, with 76% having purchased a sleep gadget or supplement in the past year. But of those who’ve shelled out big bucks for a fancy mattress, less than half report they are satisfied with their sleep.

Americans are clearly obsessed with getting a good night’s rest — and both their wallets and their mindset are taking a hit as a result.

Read on for more highlights from our recent survey of 5,000 US adults, and for an intimate look at sleep routines in six bedrooms across America.

Who We Talked To

5,073

Americans surveyed

1% prefer not to say

Age

Counting Sheep

6.4 Hours

average sleep per night

7-9 Hours

recommended sleep per night

2 in 5

are happy with their sleep

1 in 3

struggle to fall asleep because they're worried about not sleeping

What's Keeping America Up at Night?

Worry keeps more people up at night than an uncomfortable mattress.

struggle to fall asleep due to an uncomfortable mattress

struggle to fall asleep due to worry

Top five worries that keep Americans tossing and turning:

"The future in general"

"My health"

"Embarrassing or regrettable things I've done in the past"

"The health of my family or friends"

"My performance at work/school"

Sleep Should Be Simple

From coast to coast, Americans with sleep anxiety are developing complex routines in an effort to get a good night’s rest. We peeked into six bedrooms to learn more.

Ginger Soto

43, Alameda, CA

Ginger suffered from insomnia and tried just about everything in the ‘sleep better book.’ While she’s conquered her insomnia, just thinking about sleep makes her anxious. She likes to wind down early and drink tea at night alongside her cat, Midnight. In addition to her sleep aids, Ginger goes to therapy to help her sleep anxiety and has a spare room in her home where she spends sleepless nights, rather than lying awake in bed.

Eye mask / Earbuds / Lavender in diffuser / Weighted blanket / Prescription pills / Self-help book / Crystals for good energy / Melatonin + other natural sleep aids / A string of red lights / Therapy / White noise machine

Stone Thomas

25, San Francisco, CA

A model and entrepreneur, Stone’s approach to sleep is to stay consistent. He begins to wind down at 8 p.m. when he stops eating and engages his mood enhancing rainbow lights. He’ll continue by stretching, and takes a cocktail of vitamins with a relaxing tea or shake. Once in bed, he’ll do meditation and deep breathing to fall asleep — usually with his dog, Oz, by his side.

Specialized mattress / 'Halo' light that modulates his breathing / Meditative music with headphones / Celliant sheets / Nighttime herbal tea / Magnesium / Multivitamins

Zoe Hodgdon

28, Chicago, IL

Zoe’s entire apartment is designed to help her sleep. Her approach is all about feeling comfortable and cozy — from her low-to-the-ground mattress and seating to the crystals and sage placed throughout her space for good energy. To get ready for bed, Zoe heats up a cup of chamomile tea and cuddles with her plushie bunny and her dog named Christmas, while she plays her favorite shows on TV. Right before she dozes off, she enjoys the view of the city lights from her floor-to-ceiling apartment windows.

Dog / Hammock / Plushies / Low-placed mattress / Dimmable multicolored LEDs / A year-round Christmas tree (she finds soothing) / Salt lamp / Sage / Crystals / Essential oils / Chamomile tea / Headphones / Eye mask

Joette and David Waters

64 and 72, Chicago, IL

In addition to sleep aids, the couple of 45 years also does meditation, has blackout curtains and their own individual sound machines they listen to with headphones. David struggles to stay asleep and has tried various teas and supplements in addition to his noise machine. Joette has trouble calming her mind at night and uses a variety of listening tools — from meditation tapes to a government-issued listening device for people with dyslexia — to put herself to sleep.

Blackout curtains / Melatonin / Valerian tea / Valerian drops / Sleeping pills / Nighttime herbal tea / Magnesium capsules / Nose tape / Meditation / Individual sound machines / Eye masks

Angela Clark

42, Brooklyn, NY

Angela’s sleep issues pushed her into freelance work, as she struggles with sleep on a nightly basis. She takes longer to get ready for bed each night than to get dressed in the morning. Her sleep routine begins with magnesium and melatonin, a daily face mask and a face serum to signal ‘it’s bedtime.' Then, she uses her headlamp in bed to read. Some of her other items include a pillow spray that is supposed to help induce sleep and a crystal she keeps under her pillow each night out of sleep superstition.

Amethyst crystal / Over-the-counter sleep aid / Magnesium / Melatonin / Skincare routine / Lavender sleep spray / Lavender oil / Eye mask / Headlamp / Fan / Audio books

Frank Bell

35, Brooklyn, NY

In addition to his daily sleep supplements, Frank takes a reflective approach to his sleep routine. He winds down by casually strumming the guitar, reviewing his morning journal entry and entering in three things he’s grateful for that day. He also lights incense and uses prayer beads to calm his system, and a sleep light to help wake him in the morning.

Artificial sunlight lamp / Melatonin / Valerian root / Kava kava / Nighttime herbal tea / Multiple meditation apps / Online videos (white noise, chanting monks) / Aroma therapy / Assortment of crystals and stones / Sai Chandan incense / ‘Zen’ corner of books

Ginger Soto

43, Alameda, CA

Ginger suffered from insomnia and tried just about everything in the ‘sleep better book.’ While she’s conquered her insomnia, just thinking about sleep makes her anxious. She likes to wind down early and drink tea at night alongside her cat, Midnight. In addition to her sleep aids, Ginger goes to therapy to help her sleep anxiety and has a spare room in her home where she spends sleepless nights, rather than lying awake in bed.

Eye mask / Earbuds / Lavender in diffuser / Weighted blanket / Prescription pills / Self-help book / Crystals for good energy / Melatonin + other natural sleep aids / A string of red lights / Therapy / White noise machine

Stone Thomas

25, San Francisco, CA

A model and entrepreneur, Stone’s approach to sleep is to stay consistent. He begins to wind down at 8 p.m. when he stops eating and engages his mood enhancing rainbow lights. He’ll continue by stretching, and takes a cocktail of vitamins with a relaxing tea or shake. Once in bed, he’ll do meditation and deep breathing to fall asleep — usually with his dog, Oz, by his side.

Specialized mattress / 'Halo' light that modulates his breathing / Meditative music with headphones / Celliant sheets / Nighttime herbal tea / Magnesium / Multivitamins

Zoe Hodgdon

28, Chicago, IL

Zoe’s entire apartment is designed to help her sleep. Her approach is all about feeling comfortable and cozy — from her low-to-the-ground mattress and seating to the crystals and sage placed throughout her space for good energy. To get ready for bed, Zoe heats up a cup of chamomile tea and cuddles with her plushie bunny and her dog named Christmas, while she plays her favorite shows on TV. Right before she dozes off, she enjoys the view of the city lights from her floor-to-ceiling apartment windows.

Dog / Hammock / Plushies / Low-placed mattress / Dimmable multicolored LEDs / A year-round Christmas tree (she finds soothing) / Salt lamp / Sage / Crystals / Essential oils / Chamomile tea / Headphones / Eye mask

Joette and David Waters

64 and 72, Chicago, IL

In addition to sleep aids, the couple of 45 years also does meditation, has blackout curtains and their own individual sound machines they listen to with headphones. David struggles to stay asleep and has tried various teas and supplements in addition to his noise machine. Joette has trouble calming her mind at night and uses a variety of listening tools — from meditation tapes to a government-issued listening device for people with dyslexia — to put herself to sleep.

Blackout curtains / Melatonin / Valerian tea / Valerian drops / Sleeping pills / Nighttime herbal tea / Magnesium capsules / Nose tape / Meditation / Individual sound machines / Eye masks

Angela Clark

42, Brooklyn, NY

Angela’s sleep issues pushed her into freelance work, as she struggles with sleep on a nightly basis. She takes longer to get ready for bed each night than to get dressed in the morning. Her sleep routine begins with magnesium and melatonin, a daily face mask and a face serum to signal ‘it’s bedtime.' Then, she uses her headlamp in bed to read. Some of her other items include a pillow spray that is supposed to help induce sleep and a crystal she keeps under her pillow each night out of sleep superstition.

Amethyst crystal / Over-the-counter sleep aid / Magnesium / Melatonin / Skincare routine / Lavender sleep spray / Lavender oil / Eye mask / Headlamp / Fan / Audio books

Frank Bell

35, Brooklyn, NY

In addition to his daily sleep supplements, Frank takes a reflective approach to his sleep routine. He winds down by casually strumming the guitar, reviewing his morning journal entry and entering in three things he’s grateful for that day. He also lights incense and uses prayer beads to calm his system, and a sleep light to help wake him in the morning.

Artificial sunlight lamp / Melatonin / Valerian root / Kava kava / Nighttime herbal tea / Multiple meditation apps / Online videos (white noise, chanting monks) / Aroma therapy / Assortment of crystals and stones / Sai Chandan incense / ‘Zen’ corner of books

The Cost of Sleep Anxiety

The sleep and mattress industries profit off the idea that sleep is a complicated science.

$200

per year

Average annual expense for sleep aids, including supplements and gadgets... and those who use sleep aids and supplements are less satisfied with their sleep than those who don't

$802

Average cost of mattress... and spending more on a mattress doesn't necessarily result in better sleep

Why are Americans spending large sums of money on sleep-related paraphernalia that won't ultimately result in more Zz's... especially when saving money might even help alleviate some of the stress that causes sleepless nights in the first place?

Keep Sleep Simple. Shop Zinus.

With a range of simple, affordable options, Zinus offers the promise of a good night’s sleep — without the complicated bells and whistles.