Poll Reveals Sleep Differences among Ethnic Groups

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Date:
Monday, March 8, 2010

Poll Reveals Sleep Differences among Ethnic Groups

WASHINGTON, DC, March 8, 2010 – The 2010 Sleep in America poll released today by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reveals significant differences in the sleep habits and attitudes of Asians, Blacks/African-Americans, Hispanics and Whites. It is the first poll to examine sleep among these four ethnic groups.

NSF's Sleep in America poll found that more than three-fourths of respondents from each ethnic group agree that poor sleep is associated with health problems (76-83%). These new findings echo lessons learned by former President Bill Clinton who recently admitted that he has adopted a new lifestyle regimen to sleep seven or more hours on the advice of his doctors.

The poll also shows that all groups report disturbingly similar experiences missing work or family functions because they were too sleepy (19-24%). Among married people or couples living together, all ethnic groups report being too tired for sex frequently (21- 26% of the time).

"As the leading voice of sleep health, we are committed to better understanding people's sleep needs," says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. "By exploring ethnic and family sleep practices we have gained new insight into why we sleep the way we do."

Blacks/African-Americans report the busiest bedtime routines.
Blacks/African-Americans are the most likely to report performing activities in the hour before going to bed every night or almost every night, specifically watching TV (75%) and/or praying or doing another religious practice (71%). Whether on weekdays/workdays or non-workdays/weekends, Blacks/African-Americans spend much more time in bed without sleeping than the other ethnic groups (54 minutes on weekdays/workdays and 71 minutes on non-workdays/weekends).

  • Blacks/African-Americans and Hispanics (10% each) are ten times more likely to report having sex every night than Asians (1%) and 2.5 times more likely than Whites (4%).
  • Most Blacks/African-Americans report praying every night (71%); more than four times the reported frequency of Asians (18%), twice the rate of Whites (32%) and 1.5 times the rate of Hispanics (45%).
  • Blacks/African-Americans (17%) and Asians (16%) are more likely than Whites (9%) and Hispanics (13%) to report doing job-related work in