Holiday wish list: 2 in 3 Americans just want - a decent night of sleep!

New York - What’s on Americans’ wish list for this year’s holiday? For two out of three people, it’s a good night’s sleep. A new survey of 2,000 U.S. adults shows that 66 percent say that, if they could, they would beg delightful old St. Nick for any product that could give them better sleep.

Overall, 62 percent claim that the winter holiday season is the busiest time of the year in their lives. The biggest contributors to poor sleep during the holidays are cooking and meal preparation (36%), shopping stress (34%), financial stress (34%), and having a larger family (30%). Seven in 10 will force themselves to stay up late in the evening in order to tackle tasks they weren’t able to finish during the day - including wrapping presents (37%) and cooking or preparing meals (28%).

More than half of the respondents (58%) find themselves getting up early in the morning for the same reasons.

Commissioned by The Mattress Firm and conducted by OnePoll, the study found that the most sleepless nights during the holiday season are Christmas Eve (43%), New Year’s Eve (38%), Christmas Day (35%), Thanksgiving (26%), and Black Friday (17%).

During the festive period, 64 percent of people are likely to gather with their extended relatives. If they’re traveling, 55 percent are likely to miss out on quality sleep if they’re not in their bed.

Insomnia in the Christmas season?

Those who celebrate Christmas particularly feel the midnight oil burn: 67 percent of them are likely to stay up on Christmas Eve with their family. Three out of four (74%) claim to be the last to go to bed that evening, ensuring everyone stays ahead of them.

More than half (52%) of parents who celebrate Christmas say their children still believe in Santa. 62 percent of these children stay up late on Christmas Eve trying to catch Mr. Claus in the act.

Also, New Year’s Eve is the main reason for lack of sleep during the holidays. Almost four in five (78%) who celebrate stay up late on New Year’s Eve. However, 32 percent are too exhausted, never to make it to midnight.

“There’s just something about the holiday season that, while exciting and usually a time for family fun, is just so stressful,” Dr. Chris Winter, neurologist, sleep specialist and sleep consultant with The Mattress Firm, says in a statement. “Spending time with family, shopping, budgeting—it can all add up and make getting a good night’s sleep seem like a pipe dream, almost impossible to achieve.”

vacation sleep

There really is a Thanksgiving hangover

The study also found the best nights of the holiday season for sleeping: 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 big holiday. However, 20 percent say it’s still a challenge.

On average, respondents needed three days to pass after the holiday season before they could sleep soundly again.

Unfortunately, post-holiday recovery sleep can depend on the family staying past their welcome period (45%), cleaning up after guests (45%), and financial concerns (33%).

“Getting a decent rest during the busy holiday season starts by first sticking to a sleep routine so that no matter where you are, the ritual will help you relax and get ready for bed. It’s also helpful to organize yourself and give yourself time between holiday errands to decompress,” suggests Dr. Winter. “Instead of taking on one task after another, you can give yourself time to relax and get better sleep by dividing your to-do list throughout the day.”

Survey methodology:

This random, double opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans celebrating a winter holiday was conducted by The Mattress Firm between October 12 and October 17, 2022. It was conducted by market research firm OnePoll, whose team members are affiliated with the Market Research Association and have membership Founders of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).