A new study conducted in 2023 by Calm, the maker of a sleep and meditation app, has shed light on the profound impact of sleep on mental health and the challenges people face in getting quality rest.
Researchers surveyed 9,500 residents from 10 U.S. cities and 10 U.K. cities, aged between 18 and 65, to uncover the key trends in the relationship between sleep, mental health, and daily life.
Impact of sleep on mental health’s key findings highlight five significant trends
- Sleep and Mental Health Connection: A staggering 78% of survey respondents reported that a lack of sleep negatively affects their mental health. Many adults believe that seven hours of sleep are necessary for improved mental health, but only a third manage to attain this. Furthermore, nearly 75% of participants expressed their willingness to explore new strategies for better sleep. Shockingly, 42% admitted to relying on sleep aids like medication, cannabis, or alcohol.
- Struggles Among Millennials and Gen Z: Sleep-related issues are particularly prevalent among individuals under 40. Millennials often point to caffeine consumption as a major sleep disruptor. Gen Z, on the other hand, struggles with establishing effective morning routines after sleepless nights, with 38% attributing their sleeplessness to current events and 26% to technology use.
- Dream Content: Respondents revealed that their dreams frequently revolve around familiar people, places, and romantic experiences. Notably, 74% stated that they recognize the individuals in their nightmares. Gen Z is more likely to dream about death, video games, and social media compared to millennials.
- Financial Stress: Money-related concerns are a leading cause of sleep troubles in both the U.S. and the U.K., surpassing worries about children or global issues. Financial stress is reported to cause three times the sleep disturbances of relationship concerns.
- Partners and Pets Impact Sleep: Sharing beds with partners and pets can disrupt sleep. Thirty-nine percent of adults find that they sleep better alone, with over half making changes to their sleep routines to accommodate their partners. Common reasons for partners sleeping separately include snoring and disruptive sleep habits. Pets also contribute to sleep disturbances, with one in three adults attributing their disrupted sleep to animals.
In light of these findings, it becomes evident that the relationship between sleep and mental health is intricately linked, with a significant portion of the population grappling with sleep-related issues.
Millennials and Gen Z experience sleep challenges for various reasons, while the content of dreams often reflects daily experiences. Financial concerns are a prominent cause of sleep troubles, and sharing beds with partners and pets can also affect the quality of sleep.