Economic stress keeps Americans up at night. A recent survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that 69% of U.S. adults reported losing sleep due to worries over job security, while 75% have lost sleep due to worries about a recession.
“Persistent, anxious thoughts can make it difficult to fall asleep and impact sleep quality, so it’s understandable that a substantial number of Americans are losing sleep during this period of economic instability, inflation and job market insecurity,” said Dr. Susheel Patil, sleep medicine physician and spokesperson for the AASM.
Prolonged sleep disturbances can lead to decreased productivity, impaired decision-making and an increased risk of mental and physical health issues. For many people, anxiety worsens at night when they should be winding down. To combat negative impacts of stress, the AASM recommends the following tips to get a better night of sleep.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule – Try to get at least seven hours of sleep by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends and holidays.
- Create a peaceful sanctuary – Keep outside noise and distractions to a minimum by making your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool – and only use the bed for sleeping, not watching TV or reading.
- Follow a relaxing nightly routine – With all the unrest in the world, it’s essential to schedule at least 30 minutes to unwind before bed. Consider developing a relaxing nightly routine, which may include reading, meditating or taking a warm bath or shower.
- Reduce time with social media or the news – Minimize your exposure to stress-inducing news and social media chatter near bedtime to avoid dwelling on new stressors before sleep.
- Try journaling before bed – Writing down what’s on your mind can be a great way to bring you calmness and a sense of control. Release worries and stress from the day on paper, so you’re not holding on to unwanted thoughts when you get into bed.
“Good sleep habits can help break the pattern of sleepless nights and stressful days, but those experiencing persistent sleeplessness should seek help from a sleep medicine team at an AASM-accredited sleep center,” said Patil.
About the Survey
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine commissioned an online survey of 2,005 adults in the U.S. The overall margin of error fell within +/- 2 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent. Fieldwork took place between March 24-29, 2023. Atomik Research is an independent market research agency.
About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Established in 1975, the AASM advances sleep care and enhances sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 12,000 accredited sleep centers and individuals, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals who care for patients with sleep disorders. As the leader in the sleep field, the AASM sets standards and promotes excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research.