Weekend Poll Results: New Sleep Routines for a New Year

With thanks to all who participated, and with the new year well and truly underway, here are your responses to my question … Do you get enough sleep?

Two out of three of you say you don’t typically get enough sleep … but that’s better than last year While 65% of readers reported that they don’t typically get sufficient sleep, that’s actually an improvement over the previous year. In 2016, only 21% of readers reported that they get sufficient sleep. In December, that percentage rose to 35%.

Typically Tired  That’s how 73% of respondents describe the way they feel when they wake up. Only 22% of you reported feeling refreshed when you wake.

48% of you sleep six or fewer hours a night – but roughly one out of every five readers reported sleeping seven or more hours nightly

Exercise, meditate, put down the remote, stay away from your smartphone and other technology, and adopt consistent routines: Readers were again generous in sharing routines they’ve adopted to support a good night’s sleep. You’ll find those at the end of this post, along with all the data.


Note: Information below reflects the percentage of respondents who selected specific responses from multiple choice options.  In instances where more than one person offers similar responses to an open ended question, I typically cluster or paraphrase such responses rather than duplicating all of them.

 Do you think you typically get sufficient sleep? 

  • No: 65%of respondents, compared to 79.25% in 2016
  • Yes: 35% of respondents, compared to 20.75%  in 2016


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

  • 4 – 5 hours: 4%* of respondents, compared to 2% in 2016
  • 5 -6 hours: 44% of respondents, compared to 44% in 2016
  • 6 – 7 hours: 33% of respondents, compared to 27% in 2016
  • 7 – 8 hours: 13% of respondents, compared to 9.5% in 2016
  • More than 8 hours: 6% of respondents, compared to 2% in 2016
  • “Varies from 4 to 8”: 0% of respondents, compared to 2% in 2016*
  • 5 hours: 0% of respondents, compared to 13.5% in 2016
  • * These readers selected “Other” and, coincidentally, identified the same range of hours of sleep. One added, “if I’m lucky”


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

  • Yes: 54% of respondents, compared to 47% in 2016
  • No: 46% of respondents, compared to 49% in 2016
  • (In 2016, another 4% selected “Other” and provided comments)


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

  • Yes: 78% of respondents, compared to 85% in 2016
  • No: 22% of respondents, compared to 13% in 2016 
  • (In 2016, another 2% selected “Other” and commented that they do so 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: 80% of respondents, compared to 75% in 2016
  • No: 20% of respondents, compared to 23% in 2016 
  • (In 2016, another 2% selected “Other” and commented, “Sometimes”.)


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

  •  Yes: 69% of respondents, compared to 65% in 2016
  • No: 29% of respondents, compared to 33% in 2016
  • Yes, but it is on silent and there for emergencies: 2% of respondents
  • (In 2016, 2% of respondents selected “Other”. One person commented,“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: 78% of respondents, compared to 71% in 2016
  • Yes: 22% of respondents, compared to 26% in 2016
  • (In 2016,  4% of respondents said they do so sometimes)


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

  • No: 71% of respondents, compared to 35% in 2016
  • Yes: 29% of respondents, compared to 63% in 2016
  • (In 2016, 2% of respondents replied, “Sometimes”.)


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

  • Yes: 56% of respondents, compared to 50% in 2016
  • No: 44% of respondents, compared to 50% in 2016


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

  • No: 79% of respondents
  • Yes: 21% of respondents 


Do you typically wake up refreshed, or tired?  

  • Tired: 73% of respondents, compared to 78% in 2016
  • Refreshed: 22% of respondents, compared to 16% in 2016
  • 4% of respondents selected “Other”, compared to 6% in 2016. Comments are as  follows.
    • some nights w/little sleep I’m refreshed, others w/lots sleep awake tired
    • varies – sometimes tired, sometimes refreshed


I asked readers to briefly identify routines you’ve adopted to support a good night’s sleep. Here are your suggestions.

  • Prepare for bed at the same time every night on week days / Ensure I’m in bed by 10.30 latest during the week / a bed time and making sure I wind down in the hour leading up to it / Go to bed early and at the same time every night if possible
  • A warm bath around an hour before bed can help / A relaxing shower before bed is one way I’ve been decompressing recently
  • Guided sleep meditation / Meditation app on my phone
  • Breathing technique
  • Do not use smartphone or watch TV / I don’t sleep with my cell phone in my bedroom; it’s downstairs / Phone in sleep mode so it makes no noise from 9:30 p.m. – 5:30 a.m.
  • Exercise so that I feel sufficiently stress free and relaxed before bath/bed
  • Exercise daily, discuss days’ events, cup of tea in the evening, prep for the next day
  • I drink water before I go to sleep and listen to a meditation as I drift off
  • I follow a beauty routine to start my wind down
  • Listening to music whilst going to sleep
  • Hot chocolate before bed
  • Milky coffee, warm shower
  • Wear a sleep mask
  • Six hours of sleep are interrupted with two toddlers, so not even 6 hours sleep
  • Still trying to find one

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