What Kind of Sleeper Are You?
Are You a 'Savvy Sleeper' or 'Sleepless and Missin' the Kissin'?
WebMD News Archive
March 29, 2005 -- When it comes to sleeping habits, a new study shows
Americans are like night and day. About half have generally healthy habits but
the other half struggle to get a good night's sleep.
For the first time, researchers at the National Sleep Foundation used
information from their annual Sleep in America Poll to divide American adults
into five distinct sleep profiles based on their sleeping habits.
Nearly half (48%) of the poll respondents fell into one of two "good
sleeper" categories, while the other 52% fell into three "not so
good" sleeper profiles. Researchers say people should identify the group
that best describes them and look for ways to improve their sleeping
The five groups are based on more than 40 factors including how many hours
slept per night, frequency of experiencing a sleep problem, how often they feel
tired, number of caffeinated beverages consumed daily, and other sleep-related
The five sleep categories include:
Healthy, Lively Larks
This is the largest as well as the youngest of the five sleeper profile
categories, accounting for 27% of the poll respondents with an average age of
45. They are least likely to be affected by sleep problems, either of their own
or their spouse/partner.
- Most (75%) say they usually get a good night's sleep.
- Two-thirds say they get more sleep than they need, and most never/rarely
- Most are married/partnered and working full time at regular day
- They consider themselves "morning people" ("larks"), and
77% of them are up by 7 a.m. during the week.
- They fall asleep faster than the other groups, with 65% reporting that they
fall asleep in less than 15 minutes.
The oldest of the five groups with an average age of 60, this group
represents about 21% of adults. They get the most sleep of any group, averaging
7.3 hours per night compared to 6.8 overall.
- Nearly three-quarters (74%) say they get a good night's sleep on most
- Nearly half (46%) take two or more naps during the week.
- Most never/rarely feel tired/fatigued (69%).
- Many have been diagnosed with at least one medical condition; they do not
feel they have a sleep problem and are less likely than other groups to be at
risk for any sleep disorder.
- People in this group are the most likely to be retired (51%) and least
likely to be employed (30%); two-thirds are female.
This group, the largest of the "not so good" sleeper groups,
accounted for 20% of the poll respondents. More than the other groups, the
"dragging duos" are most likely to be married or living with someone
(80%), employed (76%), and working more than 40 hours a week (55%).
But those habits may be robbing them of valuable sleep.
- 30% say they do job-related work within an hour of going to bed, a practice
not considered a good sleep habit.
- During the week, most (72%) are out of bed by 7 a.m. But they try to make
up for lost sleep by sleeping an hour longer on weekends than on weekdays.
- They are nearly twice as likely as the other groups to get less sleep than
they say they need to function at their best (41% vs. 23%), and more than
one-third say they feel tired/fatigued at least three days each week.
- Most say that their partner has at least one symptom of insomnia (92%).
Their partner's sleep disorders, or their own, have caused some problems in
their relationship, and about one-fourth say their intimate relationship has
been affected because of sleepiness.