Weekend Poll Results: You Need More Sleep

… or, at least that’s the case with the majority of readers who  took part in my latest Weekend Poll. With thanks to all who participated, here are your responses to my question … 

Do you get sufficient sleep at night, or wind up counting sheep?

Mount Vernon Sheep closeup 2 Copyright Shelagh DonnellyI’d anticipated that a significant percentage of readers would report making do without sufficient sleep, but was surprised by just how high that number was: 78.43% of respondents reported that they typically wake up tired. While some people clearly do typically get sufficient sleep, that’s not the case for the majority.

I also heard from readers on Twitter. One reader tweeted that her sleep is impacted by health, and that may be the case for others, as well. However, habits and routines may play an important part in others’ sleep routines. More than 65% of respondents sleep within six feet / two meters of their cell phones. Other factors? 84% of respondents said they typically watch television in the hour before they turn out the lights … and 75% of respondents said they typically spend time on electronic devices during that same point in the night.

See below for highlights and then the data, and watch here in the weeks ahead for more on sleep. In the interim, readers were generous in sharing routines they’ve adopted to support a good night’s sleep. You’ll find those at the end of this post.

Less than 21% of respondents reported getting enough sleep  More than three out of every four respondents said they do not typically get sufficient sleep.

11.5% of respondents typically get more than seven hours of sleep on weeknights  … while 44% of you said you typically get between five and six hours of sleep on weeknights, and 27% of you manage between six and seven hours nightly. 13.5% of you are managing on a typical five hours nightly.

Typically Tired  That’s how 78.43% of respondents describe the way they feel when they wake up. Only 15.69% of you reported feeling refreshed when you wake.

On getting sufficient sleep …

Do you think you typically get sufficient sleep? 

  • No: 79.25% of respondents
  • Yes: 20.75% of respondents

How many hours of sleep do you typically get on weeknights? 

  • Between 4 and five hours: 2% of respondents
  • “Varies from 4 to 8”: 2% of respondents (this respondent selected “Other”)
  • Five hours: 13.5% of respondents
  • Between five and six hours: 44% of respondents
  • Between six and seven hours: 27% of respondents
  • Between seven and eight hours: 9.5% of respondents
  • More than 8 hours: 2% of respondents

Do you typically wake up refreshed, or tired? 

  • Tired: 78.43% of respondents
  • Refreshed: 15.69% of respondents
  • 5.88% of respondents selected “Other”. Comments included, “Both”, “Depends” and “With less than 6 hrs sleep”.

Do you follow routines to help ensure a good night’s sleep? 

  • No: 49% of respondents
  • Yes: 47% of respondents
  • 4% of respondents selected “Other”. These respondents commented, “somtimes!” and “Sometimes: 1-2 hrs earlier to bed”.
Pre-Sleep Electronics

Presidential Suite IC HK Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

Do you typically watch television in the hour before you turn out the lights for the night? 

  • Yes: 84.62% of respondents
  • No: 13.46% of respondents
  • 1.92% of respondents selected “Other”. The accompanying comment? “Sometimes!”

Do you typically spend time on your computer, laptop, iPad or smartphone in the hour before you turn out the lights for the night? 

  • Yes: 75% of respondents
  • No: 23.08% of respondents
  • 1.92% of respondents selected “Other”. The accompanying comment? Also, “Sometimes!”

Do you sleep within six feet / two meters of your cell phone?

  • Yes: 65.38% of respondents
  • No: 32.69% of respondents
  • 1.92% of respondents selected “Other”. The comment? “On business travel I use it for a wake-up call.”

Do you typically check your cell phone or other electronic media after turning out the lights?

  • No: 70.59% of respondents
  • Yes: 25.49% of respondents
  • Sometimes: 3.92% of respondents
Evening Reading

Do you typically read in the hour before you turn out the lights for the night? 

  • Yes – on an electronic device: 36.84% of respondents
  • No: 35.09% of respondents
  • Yes – printed materials: 26.32% of respondents
  • 1.75% of respondents selected “Other”, and commented, “Sometimes”
Nibble, Nibble …

Peaches 3704 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

Do you intentionally refrain from eating after a certain point in the evening? 

  • Yes: 50% of respondents
  • No: 48.08% of respondents
  • 1.92% of respondents selected “Other”. The accompanying comment was, “No heavy meals at night.”
Nap Time?

NYC Commuters 1097 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

If you take transit to work, do you tend to nap during the journey? 

  • N/A: 60% of respondents (” I drive, walk or otherwise commute in a manner that renders this unlikely or unsafe”)
  • No: 32% of respondents
  • Yes: 8% of respondents



I asked readers to briefly identify routines you’ve adopted to support a good night’s sleep. A number of readers wrote that they didn’t have suggestions, but others did! See below for their comments.

  • Not eating late at night. Not using iPhone iPad laptop 1 hour before going to bed
  • A bit of mindfulness while dropping off
  • stretching; beginning to reduce screen time in hour before sleep
  • Hot drink – decaff. Snuggle the hubby
  • No TV in my bedroom
  • Hydrate, wear sleep mask
  • getting to bed early
  • Early night
  • Reading, no caffine after 7 pm
  • meditation at night
  • Black out curtains
  • Making sure I have a set routine; wash face, brush teeth, etc. and limiting tech.
  • Put away mobile device, cup of warm green tea
  • Going to bed when tired, shut out outside light
  • No electronics or TVs in bedroom
  • Get into PJs by a certain time to get in the right mindset
  • relax
  • warm bath
  • go to bed by 10 p.m.
  • Going to bed the same time everyday
  • I read my book until my eyes are tired enough to sleep
  • Turn out the lights … put quite many pillow … change bed sheet once a week
  • trying to set them up!
  • No heavy meals, 1-2 hrs earlier to bed & have a bath before bedtime
  • Bath and hot chocolate


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: