The Case of Millennials & Sleep
Is the so-called lazy generation sleeping better than you?
Americans, overall, are sleeping less than ever. The sleep average is at 6.8 hours per night – that’s down 1 hour from 1942. Between longer hours at work, a tech-filled society and the mantra, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” snoozing isn’t on our overfilled to-do list like it should be.
What generation is getting the most sleep? Hello millennials. You know them – the group born between 1980-1995. The ones generally said to be over-privileged, lazy and addicted to technology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials bank an average of 25 more minutes of sleep each night than any other generation and they’re clocking more hours at work while they do it.
The good news is they might be getting more sleep than other generations but the bad news is that it’s not always “good” sleep. Stress about money and work linger on their why-I-can’t-sleep list.
Regardless of what generation you call home, there are ways all of us can step back from our generational differences and make sleep a top priority.
Sleep happy & unplug
Electronic gadgets are everywhere, especially in our bedrooms. Millennials send the most texts – an average of 60 a day. But other generations are guilty of checking sports scores, the news, or conquering Candy Crush on their gadgets instead of going off the grid for a good night’s sleep.
Shreyans Jain, co-founder of the Under 25 club, recently shared his success in sleep. “You should be grateful for everything that’s going right, before falling asleep.” Being in a happy state will enhance your mental state and you’ll wake up in a better mood.
Millennial tip: Power down all devices 30 minutes before going to sleep and mentally run through all your happy thoughts. You’ll no doubt fall asleep with a smile on your face.
Avoid the snooze
Feeling well-rested in the morning is about more than just your bedtime habits – it’s also how you wake up in the morning. Even when you get a full 8 hours of snooze time, you may still struggle to get out of bed.
Aaron Firestein, the millennial co-founder of BucketFeet, credits his sleep success to avoiding the dreaded snooze button altogether. Aaron places his alarm clock as far from his bed as possible – but close enough to hear the joyful sound. Skipping the snooze button can help you from shifting in and out of sleep and avoid the grogginess. Try getting out of bed on the first ring and compare it to the times when you’re banging on the snooze button several times.
Know when to say NO
To-do lists never seems to shrink. Work projects, your social/family life and countless other things have taken over your sleep and it’s time to take it back with one magic word.
After 3 years of 80-hour work weeks and insomnia, Victo Ngai – a millennial illustrator, realized it was time to establish a healthier sleep routine. Now her lights go off before midnight and she uses s sleep mask to fall asleep quicker. Most of her recent sleep success comes from saying no to extra social events and projects. “There’ll always be more projects, but I only have one body,” says Ngai.
Ready to perfect your sleep routine?
It’s clear the biggest struggle millennials have in the bedroom are their screens. It’s time to unplug and focus on what really matters. Sleep!