Posted on by Amber Merton

What Aspects of Life Take Away From Sleep the Most? [Study] - PlushBeds

Key Takeaways

  • People are losing sleep from stressing over current political events, personal finances, and political leadership
  • Almost 7 in 10 Gen Zers are losing sleep over financial and job search stress
  • The NFT market is keeping people from getting into bed at night
  • Stressing over the cryptocurrency market is leading to bad dreams
  • Going for a walk, exercising, and avoiding screens were the most effective habits in yielding adequate sleep.

Having trouble getting some much-needed shut-eye? Well, chances are you’re not alone. Far from it, actually. A 2016 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that 1 in 3 adults are getting insufficient sleep. Furthermore, the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America 2020 study revealed that the COVID-19 crisis has compounded a long list of stressors from previous years, all of which are key contributors to sleep deprivation.

This study incorporates survey data from a group of 1,003 respondents to reveal some interesting and important insights into which factors are keeping people from sleeping properly; in what ways stressors can affect the quality and consistency of sleep; and what helpful (or not-so-helpful) habits people have adopted to promote a better night’s rest. Read on to learn more!

The Impact of Different Sleep Stressors

Whether it’s politics, public health, personal finance, or family relationships, there’s no shortage of issues to be concerned about. The average person only has so much mental bandwidth, so it makes sense that something—in this case, sleep—has to give.

Most Common Sleep Stressors

As it turns out, the top three most common sleep stressors for Americans were current political events (65.9%), personal finances (60.9%), and political leadership (60%).

Some additional insights that were found included the following:

  • Respondents who reported stressing about personal health issues were the most likely to have poor sleep quality (24.9%).
  • Respondents who reported stressing about family relationships were the most likely to have inconsistent sleep (30.3%).

It also appeared that 35.3% of those who reported their children as a sleep stressor weren’t getting adequate sleep, the most of any group. This is based on the CDC recommendation of seven or more hours of sleep per night for adults. Generationally, the commonality of the different sleep stressors varied.


Among baby boomers and Gen Xers, current political events were the primary sleep stressor. On the flip side, personal finances were the leading cause of sleep stress for millennials and Gen Zers.

Stressors and Struggles: A Deeper Dive

Now that we’ve examined the issues that are commonly associated with sleep disturbance, we can take a more specific look at how these phenomena affect sleep patterns. Particularly, what are the greatest barriers to achieving healthy and consistent sleep; what are the sleep stressors they’re most closely associated with; and how do these associations vary by generation?

sleep struggles

Overall, falling asleep (50.7%), waking up during the night (49.6%), and staying asleep (49%) were the most commonly experienced sleep struggles, by far. Older generations had an observably harder time staying asleep, and reported more issues with waking up in the middle of the night than younger generations. However, all other sleep struggles affected younger generations more.

When analyzing the association of these sleep struggles with different sleep stressors, the most pervasive link was between issues getting into bed, and the NFT market. In other words, those who struggled to get into bed were 85.8% more likely than average to be stressing about the ups and downs of NFT value. Some additional struggle-stressor associations included having bad dreams and stressing about the cryptocurrency market (34.8%), having trouble waking up in the morning and fretting about upcoming holiday events (28.5%), and struggling to fall asleep and worry over contracting COVID-19 (15.5%).

Rest Assured, or Not?

It’s a well-known fact that proper sleep promotes better health. Therefore, it’s important to confront and combat problematic sleep stressors. What tactics are people implementing, and to what extent do these habits promote adequate, good quality, and consistent sleep?

helpful sleep habits

According to our respondents, the most common habits before bed were reading (38.5%), listening to music (29.9%), and avoiding screens (28.4%). However, the top three habits leading to adequate sleep were going for a walk (75.9%), exercising (74.5%), and avoiding screens (74.4%). So while avoiding screens was a common habit that yielded positive sleep results, fitness-related activities, while less common, were apparently the most effective.

When looking at how different bedtime habits affected sleep quality, it was clear that while reading was most associated with good quality sleep (40.9%), it was also most associated with poor quality sleep (38.1%). The top habits that were significantly more associated with good sleep quality than poor sleep quality were as follows:

  • Avoiding screens (38.3% good sleep quality vs. 17.9% poor sleep quality)
  • Exercising (31.1% good sleep quality vs. 13.3% poor sleep quality)
  • Meditating (32.2% good sleep quality vs. 19.3% poor sleep quality)
  • Listening to music (32.2% good sleep quality vs. 24.8% poor sleep quality)

As it pertained to sleep consistency, reading, once again, was the most associated with consistent sleep (43.2%), but also the most associated with inconsistent sleep (32.7%). The top habits that were significantly more associated with consistent sleep than inconsistent sleep were as follows:

  • Going for a walk (34% consistent sleep vs. 17.5% inconsistent sleep)
  • Avoiding screens (35.1% consistent sleep vs. 24% inconsistent sleep)
  • Exercising (26.4% consistent sleep vs. 16.7% inconsistent sleep)
  • Meditating (31.4% consistent sleep vs. 25.5% inconsistent sleep)

Dreaming of Better Sleep

Sleep stressors can dramatically impact our ability to get to sleep, stay asleep, and experience good quality sleep. Some of the most common sleep stressors were related to the current political environment, while others had to do with personal finances, and job searching. Sleep struggles ranged from falling asleep to getting out of bed, with the NFT and cryptocurrency market often playing a hand. Fortunately, though, pre-bedtime practices exist that almost anyone can incorporate into their nighttime routine to improve their sleep—with some habits being more effective than others. Avoiding screens and gentle exercise were shown to be effective in leading to more adequate, consistent, and high-quality sleep.

Getting proper rest has always been essential. That’s precisely why PlushBeds is committed to innovation, sustainability, quality, and consideration. We offer superior comfort and support by saving you money through reduced shipping costs, offering 100-night risk-free trials, and sourcing our materials organically. Visit today to achieve your dream sleep experience.

Methodology and Limitations

For this study, we surveyed 1,003 respondents via Amazon MTurk. 55.9% of respondents were men, 44% were women, and the remaining 0.1% reported as nonbinary. Generationally, 22.1% of respondents were baby boomers, 31.9% were Gen Xers, 31.3% were millennials, and the remaining 14.7% were Gen Zers. The average age of these respondents was 42.7 years, with a standard deviation of 14 years.

The main limitation of this study is its reliance on self-report, which is faced with several issues, such as, attribution, exaggeration, recency bias, and telescoping.

Fair Use Statement

Given that we are faced with a seemingly ever-increasing number of sleep stressors, you’re likely to know people who can benefit from this study. If you find our data useful, please feel free to share the knowledge. Just make sure you do so for noncommercial use, and provide a link back to our site.

Link to Us!

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Learn More About Going Green at the <a href="">PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog</a>.

*Please note that we DO NOT accept guest blog posts. Any inquiries into this will be respectfully left unanswered.

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