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Most People Are Failing to Get the Right Amount of Sleep, Survey Says

A new study breaks down average sleep times by age, gender and even relationship status.


It’s no surprise that a lack of sleep can make people slower and less productive. That’s why it’s also not a shocker that two-thirds of American workers say they would be better employees if they got a few more hours of shut-eye.


Related: Sleep In and Make Millions: Why You Don't Need to Wake Up at 5 A.M.

The daily recommended amount of sleep for adults is seven to nine hours, according to both the National Sleep Foundation and National Institute for Health. However, according to the new research from job website Glassdoor, a majority of the surveyed 1,077 part- and full-time employees across the country are just missing that minimum mark and getting an average 6.9 hours of sleep every weeknight. That’s pretty risky too, because just a little bit more sleep could give them a major performance boost at work. Nearly three-quarters of survey participants between 18 and 44 years old admit they’d be better employees if they got more sleep.

Related: 12 Habits to Dramatically Improve Your Sleep

Turns out, it’s the younger generation that is putting sleep first. Those between 18 and 34 years old are actually getting the recommended amount of sleep. On average, these young people get 7.4 hours of sleep, compared to people between 45 and 54 years old who get an average 6.5 hours.

It’s not only age that plays a factor, but gender and relationship status too. According to the study, when broken down by gender, men get 7.1 average hours of sleep and women 6.8. And whether it’s because single people find themselves socializing more often or working later hours, single people also get less sleep, 6.7 hours, than married people, 7.1 hours.

Related: 16 Things That Lack of Sleep Can Do to You, According to Science

So with all the benefits that come along with sleep, why aren’t people getting enough? Turns out, it’s a personal problem. Seventy-four percent of survey participants said that their managers do in fact encourage them to take time off for health and wellness purposes. And 87 percent agreed they expect their employer to support them when it comes to balancing work and personal commitments. It looks like the issue might be in the hands of the employees: 61 percent of people would rather work while they’re sick than have to cut into their vacation and sick days.

Rose Leadem

Written By

Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for