88% of US Adults Lose Sleep Due to Binge-Watching

Have you lost sleep while binge-watching a particularly compelling TV show? You’re not alone, according to a new survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

The survey found that U.S. adults rank sleep as their second most important priority, following family. However, data show that Americans are often limiting their opportunities to get enough healthy sleep.

A primary culprit of sleep restriction? Binge-watching. In the AASM survey, a whopping 88% of U.S. adults admitted they had lost sleep due to staying up late to watch multiple episodes of a TV show or streaming series — and this number jumps to 95% when looking at 18-44-year-olds. 

Americans have also postponed their bedtime to read, play video games and watch sports.

America has a binging problem

Streaming: Eighty-eight percent of American adults — and 95% of 18-44-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 aged 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 due to 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 due to watching sporting events on TV, compared with only 45% of women. Additionally, 25-54-year-olds (54%) were more likely than other age ranges (51%) to have stayed up for overtime or extra innings.

Binging can lead to guilt, frustration, worry — and even less sleep

Unfortunately, prioritizing entertainment instead of sleep can cause negative feelings. Nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) admitted feeling frustrated by missed bedtimes. 

These feelings are more likely in younger Americans, with those in Generation Z admitting that staying up past their bedtime causes them to feel frustrated (32%), worried (23%) and guilty (19%).

These feelings can compound the insufficient sleep problem, as negative thoughts about missing sleep might make it harder to fall asleep — especially when one tries to make up for the lost time.

Find out more at aasm.org.

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