Hey everyone. It’s your coach and guide to a peaceful night’s rest, and today we’re going to be talking about 13 interesting facts you don’t know about sleep, but should, and we’re going to share some surprising things about sleep that are really interesting. So let’s go ahead and dive right into it.
So the first thing I want to share with you all is number one, insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the US. So there are a lot of different sleep disorders from sleep apnea to parasomnias, but insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the US, and that number has drastically increased as a result of Covid-19. People having more stress, more anxiety. It’s just becoming more and more common.
Number two, about 40 million Americans experience insomnia annually. And that number again, I think is a great underestimate of what we’re experiencing right now. So 40 million people. So if you’re experiencing insomnia right now, there’s millions, literally 40 million other people that are also experiencing exactly what you’re going through at any given time. So don’t think that this is unique, and you’re not alone.
Number three, this is really interesting. It was really surprising to me. I’m not sure exactly why, but Hawaii has the highest percentage of adults who get seven or fewer hours of sleep per night. Not sure why that is. I would’ve never guessed Hawaii, but I thought that was fascinating, a fascinating fact.
Number four, women have a lifetime risk of insomnia that is as much as 40% higher than men. Again, I haven’t seen any studies as to why that is, but my hypothesis is probably insomnia can happen from pregnancy. Insomnia also can happen during perimenopause and menopause with changes in hormones, and then that can turn into chronic insomnia. So there’s always the event and then what happens after the event. Also, women are more emotional generally than men and are more open to sharing about their health concerns and actually taking action on it, believe it or not.
Number five, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 35% to 40% of adults in the US have sleep problems. So again, if you currently have a sleeping issue, it’s not uncommon. 35 to 40% of adults have some type of sleep problem.
Number six. In the hour before bed, I thought this was fascinating, but also not surprising, 95% of people say they browse the web, text or watch TV, which we know gets in the way of a peaceful night’s rest because of hyper arousal, because of the blue light from the devices. So it’s so challenging. This is one of the most challenging things for people to let go of. Netflix is one of the biggest obstacles to people actually getting the sleep that they need. So put your devices down, and if you’re on your devices, make sure that you at least have some sort of blue light blocking glasses or some type of filter on there so that you’re not getting the block of that natural melatonin drip.
Number seven, jet lag is worse when you fly eastward because our circadian clock is slightly longer than 24 hours. So I thought that was really interesting. Fun fact. So it’s actually worse when you’re in the west and you’re flying east versus if you’re in the east, flying west. And again, that’s because our circadian clock, which is our natural body clock, is slightly longer than 24 hours. And I don’t know if anyone experienced this, but this is definitely true. I’ve experienced this myself and it’s kind of interesting, interesting little fact.
Number eight, around 57% of men and 40% of women in the US snore. So I often get clients and people asking me, “Hey, I can’t sleep because my husband or my wife just snores like a bear. Can you help me?” Well, yes. There are many techniques and strategies to address snoring. One of the things if your spouse or someone you love is a snore, you make sure you want to get them checked out for sleep apnea. Sometimes it can be caused from nasal congestion. There’s a lot of reasons why people snore. But mouth taping. I’m going to film and share a future episode on mouth taping, specifically benefits of mouth taping, why to mouth tape. But again, a lot of people snore, more men than women, and it definitely can be a barrier to and a sign of lack of quality Sleep.
Number nine. Insufficient sleep has an estimated economic impact of over 411 billion, that’s billion with a B, dollars each year in the United States. That’s just in the United States. I don’t know the global statistics of what insufficient sleep has on the global economics, but alone, $411 billion as a result of people not getting proper rest, or not prioritizing their rest. That’s a lot of billions. So it’s not only impacting people’s health, but it’s literally creating a economic impact as well.
Number 10, caffeine has a half life of about five hours. A lot of times people drink caffeine too late in the day. Caffeine blocks adenosine, which adenosine builds up in our bodies and creates sleep pressure, which is important to keep a healthy sleep pressure system. Caffeine is half-life, meaning it’s in your system for 10 hours. So that means if you have a cup of coffee at noon, that caffeine is still in your system 10 hours later. So caffeine is probably the number one abused drug in the world. It is a drug. It’s a stimulant. It tastes amazing, but if you want to increase your sleep quality, you’re going to want to make sure that you start to limit caffeine, especially later in the day. That’s why.
Number 11, about 80% of people who take prescription medication experience residual effects. Sleeping medication, there’s a time and place for sleeping medication. But most people, they’re gravely overprescribed, and the side effects are even worse than not sleeping. And a lot of people experience heavy side effects, grogginess and all different types of things, and about 80% of people who take a sleeping prescription experience a negative side effect. So you don’t really need sleeping medication. There are many, many, many ways of training your mind, body system to restore its natural sleep rhythm. That’s what we do at Sleep Science Academy. You do not have to rely on something chemical to put you to sleep.
Coming in at number 12, sales of Melatonin in the US grew from 62 million in 2003 to 378 million in 2014. That’s a 500% increase. That just tells you how big of an issue sleep is. Now, interesting fact that is not part of this list of facts here, surprising facts. Melatonin is actually regulated in the European Union as a prescription, meaning you cannot buy melatonin, you need a prescription. The reason for that is melatonin is actually a hormone. Another interesting fact, kind of fun fact on top of this list of facts is most supplements that have melatonin when tested, the dosage was completely off. So I’m not a huge fan of melatonin unless you’re using it for jet lag. Most people are using way too much melatonin. Again, it’s a bandaid. It’s not going to solve your sleep problems. And as you can see, there’s been a massive uptick in the amount of people that are using it. It’s probably the most used sleep supplement out there for people that are trying to get and stay asleep.
Coming in at number 13, drowsy driving is responsible for more than 6,000 fatal car crashes every year in the US, which makes perfect sense. And honestly, I would think it would be even more than that. If you’re somebody who’s suffering from getting or staying asleep and you drive for a living, maybe you’re an Uber driver or you drive in sales, don’t mess around. Call out sick. Let your employer know that you’re experiencing insomnia and you do not want to be driving drowsy. It is dangerous. And when you’re not getting the sleep you need, there’s been studies that show that it’s almost like you’re under the influence of alcohol. Your decision making is decreased, reaction time decreased, which again leads to people falling asleep behind the wheel or just being in a daze and then getting in a car crash. So please do not drive drowsy. If you’re somebody who’s suffering from issues with their sleep, get the support you need to solve it.
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