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Data Show Decrease in Sleep Duration for US Adults

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Kohn


National Sleep Foundation Data Show Marked Decrease in Sleep Duration in US Adults Following Return from Pandemic Restrictions


Washington, D.C. (June 5, 2023): New data from the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) Sleep Health Index® show a significant increase in the percentage of US adults who sleep less than the NSF-recommended 7-9 hours per night, as more restrictions were lifted during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NSF has historically conceptualized sleep health as a combination of adequate sleep duration, sleep quality, and sleep satisfaction, and not the mere absence of sleep disorders. NSF developed and validated the Sleep Health Index® (SHI) as a way to assess the population’s sleep health and has administered it annually since 2014.

NSF’s findings showed a 40% increase in the percentage of US adults who sleep less than 7-9 hours a night (45% in 2021 to 63% in 2022). Changes in pandemic-related restrictions, such as returning to in-person work, school, and social events, may be associated with the observed reductions in sleep duration across the population. The WHO declared the emergency phase of the global COVID-19 pandemic to be over in May 2023.

“This effect is certainly alarming. We are still learning from this unique historical period, and these results reinforce there’s more work for us and others to do to improve population sleep health in response to what we’ve seen.” said Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, Board Chair of the National Sleep Foundation.

“Building on NSF’s previous breaking report about sleep in US adults during the global pandemic, one of the first to share multi-year data, we specifically looked at how Americans’ sleep health began to change after more people’s routines began to normalize. It is striking that we observed a significant decrease in sleep duration as the nation returned to more normal, pre-pandemic operations. We continue to analyze our dataset for new observations and design research we can translate to help the public,” said NSF Vice President of Research and Scientific Affairs, Joseph Dzierzewski, PhD.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. The NSF is committed to helping anyone and everyone be their Best Slept Self®. For more information about sleep health, visit


About the National Sleep Foundation

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well- being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice.