NEW YORK — What’s on Americans’ wish list for the holidays this year? For two in three, it’s a decent night of sleep. A new poll of 2,000 U.S. adults finds 66 percent say, if they could, they’d beg jolly old St. Nick for any product that could give them better sleep.
Overall, 62 percent claim the winter holiday season is their busiest time of year in their lives. The biggest contributors to a lack of sleep during the holidays include cooking and preparing meals (36%), shopping stress (34%), financial stress (34%), and having family over (30%). Seven in 10 will force themselves to stay up later in the evenings in order to tackle the tasks they couldn’t finish during the day — including wrapping gifts (37%) and cooking or preparing meals (28%).
Over half the poll (58%) find themselves waking up earlier in the mornings for the same reasons.
Commissioned by Mattress Firm and conducted by OnePoll, the study found the most sleepless nights of the holiday season are Christmas Eve (43%), New Year’s Eve (38%), Christmas Day (35%), Thanksgiving (26%), and Black Friday (17%).
Over the course of the holidays, 64 percent of people are likely to gather with their extended relatives. If they’re traveling, 55 percent are likely to lose out on quality sleep if they aren’t in their own bed.
Christmas season insomnia?
Those who celebrate Christmas especially feel the midnight oil burn: 67 percent of them are likely to stay up late on Christmas Eve with their family. Three in four (74%) claim they’re the last ones to go to bed that evening, ensuring everyone else is tucked in before them.
Over half (52%) of Christmas-celebrating parents say their kids still believe in Santa. Sixty-two percent of those kids insist on staying up late on Christmas Eve in an attempt to catch Mr. Claus in the act.
New Year’s is also a major culprit in sleep loss during the holidays. Nearly four in five (78%) of those who celebrate stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Even then, 32 percent get so exhausted, they never make it to midnight.
“There’s something about the holiday season that, while exciting and usually a time to enjoy family, is also absolutely exhausting,” says Dr. Chris Winter, a neurologist, sleep specialist, and sleep advisor at Mattress Firm, in a statement. “Having family over, shopping, budgeting — it can all stack up and make getting a sound night of sleep seem like a distant, nearly-impossible-to-reach fantasy.”
There really is a Thanksgiving hangover
The study also found the holiday season’s best nights for sleep: the nights after Thanksgiving (27%), Christmas Day (26%), and New Year’s Day (18%). For at least one in three (37%), it’s easier to sleep the night after a major holiday. However, 20 percent say it’s still a challenge.
On average, respondents need three days to pass after the holiday season before they can sleep soundly again.
Unfortunately, post-holiday recovery sleep can depend on family overstaying their welcome (45%), cleaning up after guests (45%), and financial worries (33%).
“Getting decent rest during the busy holiday season begins by first committing to a sleep routine so that no matter where you are, the ritual will help you relax and prepare for bed. It’s also helpful to pace yourself and give yourself time between holiday tasks to decompress,” suggests Dr. Winter. “Instead of taking on one task after another, you can give yourself time to relax and get better quality sleep by dividing your to-do list throughout the day.”
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who celebrate a winter holiday was commissioned by Mattress Firm between October 12 and October 17, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).