The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average American gets too much sleep. Which means that either I don’t know a single average American, or this is the government’s newest effort to fool us all into working more…because what adult do you know who isn’t at least somewhat sleep-deprived?
The info is based on a time use survey that extensively tracked the activity of many Americans and, according to Business Insider, found that Americans over the age of 15 gets an average of eight hours and 43 minutes of sleep per night. That number includes senior citizens and late teens–two groups who you’d think bump up that average by a lot. But their “least sleeping group”–adults between 45 and 54–slept eight hours and 26 minutes per night. Here’s a breakdown from the BLS:
They’re not fooling me. Nearly everyone I know is sleep-deprived. We’d all kill to get six or seven hours of solid sleep, let alone over eight. Blisstree articles about how to get more, better sleep practically click on themselves, people are so desperate to hit the hay. So what gives?
Granted, I do live in the city that never sleeps. But I’m one of the better-rested people I know, and tucking into bed by 10 (in order to get up by five or six am) is a novelty, even for me. And a recent report from the CDC confirms that one-third of working adults gets six hours of sleep or less per night, enough to call insufficient sleep a health epidemic–this hardly matches up with the
Business Insider follows up on BLS’s confounding data by reminding us of all the successful CEO’s they’ve profiled who survive on minuscule amounts of sleep. And just this weekend, the New York Times published an article instructing us to “Rethink How We Sleep,” explaining that sleep deprivation is an ever-increasing problem, left unsolved by the command to get a solid night’s (i.e. eight hours of) sleep.
My theory is this must be a ploy to convince Americans that we need to work ever-longer hours. But then, maybe there are just a lot of Americans who somehow manage a job, family, personal life and hobbies all without cutting into their sleep. Guys, share your secrets: We’re begging you.
Photo: flickr user ayes