“It’s encouraging that Americans rank sleep as one of their highest priorities, but choosing to binge on entertainment at night instead of sleeping has serious ramifications,” said AASM President Dr. Kelly A. Carden. “Sleep is essential to health, well-being and safety, and chronic insufficient sleep can lead to an increased risk of health problems, mood disorders and motor vehicle accidents.”
A January study by the National Center for Cardiovascular Research in Madrid found that people who don't get enough sleep increase their risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease — regardless of age, weight, and smoking and exercise habits.
And a study published this week in Nature found that not sleeping enough can lead to changes in the brain that are linked to higher levels of anxiety.
The AASM survey also found:
- Streaming: 88% of American adults — and 95% of 18- to 44-year-olds — have lost sleep because they stayed up to watch multiple episodes of a TV show or streaming series. While those 45 and older were the least likely to lose sleep from binge-watching, 80% have done so.
- Video games: Young adults 18 to 34 (72%) were more likely than those 35 and older (38%) to have stayed up to play video games. Men (59%) were more likely to postpone sleep for gaming than women (42%).
- Reading: Women (71%) make up a majority of night readers; they were more likely than men (61%) to have lost sleep staying up with a book. Overall, two-thirds of U.S. adults have lost sleep because of reading.
- Watching sports: While almost 60% of all U.S. adults have stayed up past their bedtime to watch sports, men were more likely to do so. Seventy-five percent of men admit they lost sleep watching sporting events on TV, compared with only 45% of women. Additionally, 25- to 54-year-olds (54%) were more likely than other age ranges (51%) to have stayed up for overtime or extra innings.