Canadians Aren’t Sleeping Easy Despite 79% Having a Bedtime Routine

Only 11% of Canadians Sleep Through the Night; Average Canadian Takes Nearly a Half Hour (28 Minutes) to Fall Asleep

The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs
Get in touch

Toronto, Ontario, March 2, 2018 — Eight in ten Canadians (79%) have a bedtime routine or technique to help them fall asleep more quickly, but only 11% manage to sleep through the night without waking up before they intended, a new Ipsos poll for Dermalogica Canada has found. Interestingly, those with a bedtime routine are not significantly more likely to fall asleep quicker or to sleep more soundly – perhaps suggesting that their routine or technique might not be helping all that much.

Whether they have a bedtime routine or not, Canadians typically wake up twice per night, although the vast majority (79%) experience no more than three interruptions to their sleep. Three in ten (28%) wake up once during the night, one in three (33%) twice, two in ten (18%) three times, while the remaining 10% wake up four or more times (10%) every night. The most restful sleepers are Quebecers (only waking up an average of 1.7 times during the night), while the least sound sleepers are Albertans, waking up an average of 2.6 times before they intended to. Women (2.3 times a night) wake up more often than men (1.8 times a night).

In addition to fractured sleep, it takes the average Canadian 28 minutes to fall asleep at night in the first place, with no significant differences between those who have a bedtime routine and those who don’t. The vast majority (84%) are able to fall asleep within an hour, though at one in six (16%), a considerable proportion claim it takes longer than this for them to fall asleep. At around two in ten, the highest proportion require between 10 and 20 (23%) or 20 and 30 (21%) minutes to fall asleep. Among Millennials, one in three (32%) take more than a half hour to fall asleep, and this group is more likely than Gen Xers (23%) or Baby Boomers (20%) to take at least this long to fall asleep.

  • On average, it takes Millennials (33 minutes) longer than Gen Xers (28 minutes) and Boomers (24 minutes) to fall asleep each night.
  • It takes women (31 minutes) longer than men (24 minutes) to fall sleep.
  • It takes Albertans (33 minutes) longer than those living in British Columbia (31 minutes), Atlantic Canada (30 minutes), Ontario (28 minutes), Quebec (24 minutes) and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (23 minutes) to fall asleep.

Bedtime Routines

The most popular bedtime routines are reading a book or watching TV to help them wind down (50%), setting a regular bedtime (24%), and spending time on their smartphone (21%). Other routines include: drinking a cup of tea (14%), employing relaxation techniques like stretching/yoga, meditation or music (11%), working on their laptop (9%), using essential oils or beauty products (8%) or some other strategy (6%).

Millennials are more likely than the national average to set a regular bedtime (29% of Millennials vs. 24% of Canadians overall), drink a cup of tea (22% of Millennials vs. 14% of Canadians), use essential oils or beauty products (15% of Millennials vs. 8% of Canadians), or utilize relaxation techniques (21% of Millennials vs. 11% of Canadians). Most notably, Millennials are significantly more likely to spend time on their smartphone before bed (40% of Millennials vs. 21% of Canadians). 

Sleep strategies differ based on gender as well. For example, women are more likely to drink a cup of tea before bed (17% of women vs. 11% of men), read a book or watch TV (56% of women vs. 43% of men), and use essential oils or other beauty products (12% of women vs. 3% of men), but are less likely to work on their laptops before bed (7% of women vs. 11% of men).


The Morning After

Thinking about how they look and feel in the morning:

  • One in ten (11%) Canadians say they look and feel like a disaster – led by Millennials (18%) and Ontarians (14%).
  • Twelve percent (12%) say they feel refreshed and that their skin looks great – led by men (16%) and Quebecers (23%).
  • One in four (26%) confess that they look and feel tired – led by women (31%) and Millennials (31%).
  • Nearly half (44%) say they feel mildly tired but look fine – led by Boomers (50%).
  • Fewer than one in ten (7%) feel well rested but look terrible – led by Boomers (10%).


About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of Canadian American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, Ipsos Public Affairs is the polling partner for Global News. Internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.


About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.


The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs