How long does it take you to fall asleep at night? Do you wake up numerous times and have difficulty falling back asleep? Many of us don't think twice about the occasional sleepless night, but research finds that the ability to sleep through the night is becoming increasingly rare in the United States.

It appears more Americans are finding it difficult to fall asleep and sleep undisturbed through the night, and even those who do report poor overall sleep quality.

So, while many Americans may be getting their recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night, it may take upwards of an hour for them to initially fall asleep, and they wake up multiple times throughout the night.

Based on 2018 population estimates, researchers say roughly five million more Americans are dealing with sleep problems today than they were five years ago.

“Indeed, how long we sleep is important, but how well we sleep and how we feel about our sleep is important in its own right,” comments head researcher Zlatan Krizan, a professor of psychology at ISU, in a release. “Sleep health is a multidimensional phenomenon, so examining all the aspects of sleep is crucial for future research.”

Now, while researchers can’t say definitively what is causing this uptick in sleep problems,the theory is that the ever-increasing presence of technology in the bedroom is a likely contributing factor.

“We know from our previous research there is a correlation between smartphone use and insufficient sleep among teens,” explains lead author Garrett Hisler. “If we’re on our phone before bed or we’re receiving alerts in the middle of the night that can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.”

Consistent with additional research on U.S. sleep patterns, the study also noted that the average American’s time spent sleeping continues to decrease.

The study is published in the scientific journal Sleep Health.


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