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article imageSurvey into U.S. sleeping patterns reveals gender differences

By Tim Sandle     Aug 13, 2019 in Health
New internal data from Sleep Cycle, a smart alarm clock application, reveals how different seasons affect our sleep patterns. The data also reveals in which U.S. states people are experiencing the best—and worst—sleep.
The analysis from Sleep Cycle, presented to Digital Journal in advance of publication, shows that most U.S. citizens prefer a cold sleeping environment, which means disrupted sleep during the warm months. However, since the warm months are when many people take a vacation, the study also shows that people tend to experience the highest quality sleep of the year.
The data is drawn from the period 2016-2018, and it reveals that those in the U.S. tend to stay up later during warm months, spend less time in bed and also snore less than during the cold months.
As to why this is for the summer, this could be linked to the vacation-effect and the use of air conditioning systems. However, in general terms a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Propeller Insights (in conjunction with Sleep Cycle) revealed that three-quarters (75 percent) of U.S. citizens prefer a cool sleeping environment.
The same survey revealed some differences between men and women when it comes to sleeping. For example, men do more snoring (55 percent) than women (51 percent), sleepwalking (11 percent) than women (8 percent), and sleep eating (7 percent) than women (4 percent). Conversely, women are 40 percent more likely to enjoy cuddling as men and about three times as likely to enjoy sleeping with an electric blanket. Women (37 percent) are also significantly more likely to indulge in screen time before bed than men (22 percent). These gender differences in snoring match previous reports.
A man sleeping in his bed  with a blindfold
A man sleeping in his bed, with a blindfold
Flickr user David Goehring (CC BY 2.0)
Further gender differences were:
On average, women sleep better than men, but men wake up in a better mood.
On average, men wake up earlier than women year-round.
Men go to bed 13 minutes later than women in the warm months.
During the cold months, women go to bed 13 minutes earlier than men and spend 18 minutes longer in bed.
The survey also showed that geography also affects how people in the U.S. sleep. For example New Yorkers tend to go to sleep the latest and snore the least (7.5 minutes a night) whereas Alaskans snore the most (18 minutes a night). The survey also found that Wyomingites go to bed the earliest and Hawaiians spend the least amount of time in bed and sleep the worst. In terms of who receives the best quality sleep - the answer is Coloradans.
In terms of getting a good night's sleep in the summer, Sleep Cycle recommends:
Cover the windows. Close the curtains in your bedroom to keep the heat out, daytime. If the temperature outside is higher than inside, make sure you keep the windows closed. If you're desperately craving a bit of breeze, hold on and wait until sunset before you open the windows.
Stay low. Remember what you were told in school - heat rises. If you live in a house with more than one floor, sleep on the lowest one. The closer you are to the ground, the colder the air. The colder the air, the better you'll sleep.
Cotton is king. Always opt for pure cotton bedding and sleepwear. Save the silk and satin bed sheets for a special occasion. You can even stick your cotton sheets in the freezer for a while before tucking yourself in. In addition to your bed covers, don't cover yourself in anything but cotton either. A loose fitting t-shirt and a pair of shorts is the perfect combo. Unless you like to sleep naked, then just go for it.
Be a loner. No matter how cozy snuggling up can be, a hot Summer night might not be the perfect time for cuddles. Sleep in separate beds or avoid sleeping all tangled up. Body heat transfers. The same person who acts as your handy personal heater in winter might cause you to overheat during the hotter nights. If you're inseparable, opt for separate comforters and enable optional body contact.
H2O. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated all night. This will help your body naturally regulate its temperature. Just make sure you don't drink too much right before bed. What goes in must come out.
If all else fails, turn to ice. Take a cold shower before bed. Keep a glass of ice next to you, and dab your wrists and neck to cool down. If you own a hot water bottle, fill it with ice water and tuck it in with you in bed. If you don't own a hot water bottle - fill a sock with grains, stick it in the freezer for an hour, and you have a little friend to keep you cool for up to 30 minutes - enough time to fall asleep for most people.
Commenting on the findings, Carl Johan Hederoth, CEO of Sleep Cycle told Digital Journal: “It can be tricky to get a good night’s sleep no matter who you are or where you live."
Hederoth went on to explain why smart technology like Sleep Cycle can assist with imrorving sleep patterns: "That is why we created Sleep Cycle. It helps users to snore less, track sleep patterns so they can identify lifestyle choices that affect their sleep, and, most importantly, wakes them in the lightest phase of sleep so they wake up feeling refreshed—Summer, Spring, Winter and Fall.”
More about Sleep, Hot weather, Summer, Rest
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