Demographic factors may impact sleep difficulties in adults
Nearly 15% of American adults have difficulty falling asleep, with difficulties varying by socio-demographic and geographic categories, including age, family income and level of urbanization.
About 14.5% of adults had trouble falling asleep and 17.8% had trouble staying asleep, according to data from the 2020 National Health Survey (NHIS). varied by age, sex, race and ethnicity, family income and level of urbanization.
The National Center for Health Statistics released a report outlining data on sleep difficulties experienced by American adults in 2020 from the NHIS, a nationally representative household survey. The survey assessed difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep most days or every day over the past 30 days among adults in the United States. Demographic and geographic characteristics were examined.
Difficulty falling asleep
The survey found that 14.5% of adults had difficulty falling asleep almost every day or every day in 2020 and that the percentage of those who had difficulty falling asleep decreased with age: 15 .5% among adults aged 18 to 44 compared to 12.1% among adults aged 65. and more. In addition, more women (17.1%) had difficulty falling asleep compared to men (11.7%).
Sleep difficulties also varied by race and ethnicity. Non-Hispanic white adults had the most difficulty falling asleep (15.5%) compared to Hispanic (14.3%), non-Hispanic black (13.7%) and non-Hispanic Asian (8.1%) adults. ).
The proportion of adults who had difficulty falling asleep decreased as family income increased, with 21.9% among adults whose family income was below 100% of the federal poverty level (FPS) compared to 12.6% for those whose family income was at least 200% of family income. FPL.
As the level of education increased, difficulty falling asleep varied. Only 10.4% of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher had difficulty falling asleep compared to 17% of adults without a high school diploma.
The level of urbanization was also linked to sleep disturbances. Only 12.7% of adults living in large central metropolitan areas had difficulty falling asleep, compared to 17.1% living in non-metropolitan areas.
Difficulty staying asleep
The NHIS found that 17.8% of American adults had trouble staying asleep most days or every day in the past 30 days. Contrary to the results for difficulty falling asleep, young adults aged 18 to 44 had less difficulty staying asleep (13.8%) than adults aged 45 to 64 (21.8%) and adults 65 and over (20.3%)
Again, women were more likely to face sleep difficulties. About 20.7% of women had trouble staying asleep compared to 14.7% of men.
Among the racial and ethnic groups assessed, non-Hispanic white adults (21%) and non-Hispanic black adults (15.4%) were most likely to have difficulty staying asleep. People with higher family incomes (16.9%) were also less likely to have difficulty staying asleep than families with incomes below the poverty line (22.1%).
Education level also influenced the ability to stay asleep, but the differences were less significant. About 16.3% of adults with a bachelor’s degree had difficulty staying asleep compared to 16.6% of adults without a high school diploma.
Similar to previous findings, difficulty staying asleep was more common among rural non-metropolitan residents (22.4%) than among metropolitan residents (14.4%).
These aggregate results showed consistently higher proportions of women, low-income adults, and rural residents having difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Sleep difficulties varied more significantly with age, race and ethnicity, and level of education. However, non-Hispanic white adults had the greatest difficulty and adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher had the least difficulty for their respective categories.
These results may indicate disparities in sleep duration and quality related to gender, race and ethnicity, as well as other demographic factors, the authors noted. However, they suggest that their findings detailing patterns of poor sleep quality among subgroups be used to inform future research on improving sleep health by exploring these patterns in more detail.
Adjaye-Gbewonyo D, Ng AE, Black LI. Sleep Disorders in Adults: United States, 2020. CDC. June 2022. Accessed June 27, 2022. https://bit.ly/3NP2LzY