Under Pressure

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Mary Best Sleep Savvy magazine editor in chief
Mary Best
Editor in Chief

Sleep is one of the casualties of myriad issues facing the U.S. We have the latest numbers 

Dear July,

I don’t want any trouble from you. Just come in, sit down, don’t touch anything and keep your mouth shut.

— Unknown

Summer always has been my favorite season, and July my favorite month. I love the height of summer, with glorious, radiant days and warm, fun-filled evenings. 

But, as you well know, this July — like this year — has been like no other. The novel coronavirus pandemic, economic stress, racial tensions, a divisive political landscape and more have kept many of us concerned by day and sleepless by night. 

In fact, recent research conducted by the Better Sleep Council, the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association, indicates that Americans are more stressed and sleeping less than in 2019 (which is when the survey was established to measure quality of sleep year over year). No surprise there. The State of America’s Sleep survey was fielded in two waves, one in January and the other in March after the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. Jennifer Bringle (a new writer for Sleep Savvy — welcome, Jennifer) weaves together the survey’s findings into an informative, compelling article. Here are a few of the conclusions you can read about:

  • The average number of hours slept each night by respondents was 6 hours and 50 minutes, slightly less than the recommended seven hours or more.
  • 41% of Americans said they felt stress often or very often, up from 36% in 2019.
  • And COVID-19 has exacerbated that percentage. As of March, 53% of respondents were stressed about the novel coronavirus often or very often
  • 69% of Americans are concerned about their financial future, with more than half of the respondents admitting they live paycheck to paycheck
Better Sleep Council logo

But there is good news: Another survey by the BSC featured in this issue is the second in a three-part series on a buyer’s journey. The series examines the sleep products industry to gain a better understanding of the journey consumers take when purchasing a new mattress and bedding accessories. While there’s a wealth of useful information about consumer buying trends, here’s my favorite takeaway: “The BSC study found that the dominant emotions many people feel as they set out on their mattress shopping journey are optimism, joy and anticipation. They’re excited about shopping for a mattress.” 

Good news, right? We can all use a little of that these days.

As for you, July, you have your instructions at the top of this column. Please feel free to give us a much-needed break.

Stay safe and be well.