COVID-19 pandemic affecting Americans’ sleep

New Ipsos poll, conducted on behalf of Pear Therapeutics, shows top reasons for poor sleep are general anxiety, worries about the future

The author(s)

  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Sara Machi Research Analyst, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, November 20, 2020 –The number of Americans saying their sleep is poor has nearly doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a new Ipsos poll, conducted on behalf of Pear Therapeutics. More than half say they find themselves constantly waking up throughout the night; however, people are split on whether this year has had a very negative impact on their sleeping patterns.

Detailed Findings

More than one in four Americans describe their quality of sleep as poor since the COVID-19 pandemic began. That is nearly double the number who felt that way prior to the pandemic.

  • Overall, 27% say their sleep has been poor since the pandemic began, compared to 15% who said the same for the period prior to the pandemic (January-March 2020). A plurality, 41%, say their sleep is average.
  • People who are unemployed, have a household income of less than $50,000, or are between the ages of 18-34 are more likely to rate their sleep as poor since the pandemic began.
  • A majority, 56%, agree with the statement, “Lately, I find myself constantly waking up throughout the night.”
  • However, Americans are relatively split on whether this year as a whole has had a very negative impact on their sleeping patterns: 48% agree, 52% disagree. A majority of parents with a child under 18 at home (58%), residents of urban areas (59%), and people under 55 (58% among 18-34-year-olds, 53% among 35-54-year-olds) all agree this year has negatively impacted their sleeping patterns.

Poor sleepers cite anxiety as their top reason for not sleeping well. Among all Americans, there is widespread anxiety about the 2020 presidential election.

  • For those who describe their sleep as poor or very poor since the COVID-19 pandemic began, most feel this way due to increased general anxiety (61%) and a sense of worry, primarily about the future for themselves/their family (53%), but also about current issues facing the country (45%).
  • Among all Americans, two-thirds (65%) report feeling anxious about the results of the 2020 presidential election and its outcome, including 77% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans.

While a plurality of Americans is concerned about taking sleeping supplements or pills, one in five acknowledge that their usage of these sleep aids has increased since the pandemic began.

  • Overall, 45% report feeling concerned about taking sleeping supplements or pills; 33% disagree with this sentiment.
  • Nonetheless, 20% of Americans acknowledge that their usage of sleeping supplements or pills has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
  • The most common sleep remedies Americans report trying are avoiding caffeine after a certain hour in the day (33%), exercising during the day (30%), taking over the counter sleeping aids or supplements (28%), and meditation/prayer/breathing exercises (26%). One in four report not trying anything when they have had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 15-19, 2020, on behalf of Pear Therapeutics. For this survey, a sample of 2,010 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2018 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=2,010, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/4.0 percentage points).

 

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Mallory Newall
Director, US Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2014
mallory.newall@ipsos.com

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations Specialist, US Public Affairs
+1 718 755-8829
kate.silverstein@ipsos.com

 

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP www.ipsos.com

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The author(s)

  • Mallory Newall Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Sara Machi Research Analyst, Public Affairs

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