Better Sleep Survey: What Sound Sleepers Have in Common
We spend a lot of time discussing bedroom design and how to find a quality mattress without getting ripped off but don’t always talk about another important aspect of bedroom life—sleep! Getting a good night’s rest is something of an enigma for many and only a fickle commonality for others. We conducted a very detailed sleep survey to discover the lifestyle choices shared by those of us who are sleeping the best. We found out a lot of interesting facts that we’re excited to share.
Better Sleep: By the Numbers
Our 2018 Better Sleep Survey covered topics ranging from exercise habits and supplement use to medical conditions and mattress preferences. We’ve chosen to present the results here in an easily digestible format for more friendly interpretation. Also, as part of our endeavor to make things friendlier, we rounded up decimal results to the nearest whole numbers. If you’re adding up percentages and they don’t quite balance out—just know that’s the reason.
About the Respondents
This survey collected data from online respondents from March 2018 through the end of April 2018. In total, we had more than 500 responses from individuals in 22 different countries, ranging in age from 18 to 90. Our data was collected through an online survey which collected self-reported data.
Among the results of our survey, we found that several questions and combinations of answers provided better insights into the habits of those getting quality sleep. There were some obvious results like exercise improving sleep quality; there were also some less obvious results such as the number of household children not having a significant impact on sleep quality (unless you have five children apparently!)
Better Sleep Through Exercise
We’ve all heard that sleep comes easy to those that work hard, but without tangible numbers sometimes that’s hard to digest. Many scientific studies have detailed the relationship between physical activity and health, with many even focusing specifically on sleep 1. We didn’t try to re-invent the wheel with this question—we just wanted to make sure that it rolled outside the factory! Generally speaking, it would seem that 3 or more days of exercise weekly seem to offer the “sweet spot” for getting a better night’s rest attributed to exercise—but really anything is better than zero or one!
Sleep Quality vs. Number of Kids
Everyone has heard new parents complaining about how many nightly hours of sleep they’ve lost. What’s harder to determine from word-of-mouth accounts is just how much that rite of passage for new parents may be impacted by how many children they already have. These results shocked us quite a bit—namely that those with no children reported sleeping about the same as those with a few extra mouths to feed. Where we really had to take a break and compose ourselves is the reportedly higher quality of sleep for those with 5 children! It would seem that five is an unlucky number when sleep is concerned!
Mattress Firmness Preference vs. Sleep Quality
Overall, we saw a pretty evenly distributed preference for mattress firmness. Those preferring a 3/10 firmness sleep slightly better and those preferring a 9/10 and 10/10 firmness seem to be sleeping better as well. All things considered, it doesn’t seem like firmness preference seems to make much difference—unless you want the softest mattress possible!
Preferred Mattress Firmness
We’ve spent a lot of time talking with mattress manufacturers over the years and have had the good fortune to have many invaluable market insights shared with us. One of these insights—one we’ve always questioned somewhat—is the strict preference of mattresses with medium firmness ratings by the majority of consumers. Among ourselves, we found that people either preferred a very plush mattress or a very firm one. The 2018 Better Sleep Survey found that the majority of people prefer a mattress that is pretty much dead-center on the firmness scale.
Ideal Mattress Type
One of the questions we asked was if respondents could receive any type of mattress for free which type would they choose. The results here weren’t too shocking and were, roughly, what we were expecting to see. From our experience in working with several mattress companies over the years, we had a pretty strong awareness that memory foam mattresses have a somewhat “top-shelf” perception by consumers. It’s our opinion that hybrid mattresses would have made a bigger splash if people were more familiar with their design (most have memory foam tops after all!) though we were somewhat surprised to see traditional coil mattresses ranking similarly to adjustable beds. Honestly, we were kind of surprised that anyone would choose a traditional coil mattress when given a choice of any design in the world!
Organic Mattress Materials
Our preliminary surveying made us curious as to how many of our readers sleep on mattresses with organic materials. These types of mattresses aren’t widespread in the consumer marketplace but there certainly are quality options available at affordable prices. To satisfy our own curiosity, we asked respondents if their mattresses contained any organic materials. Just to clarify—a mattress with an organic cotton cover would qualify here. We continue to believe that organic mattress materials are reserved for luxury lines but were surprised by just how many are already striving to live chemical-free lifestyles! If you’re among those having organic materials in your mattress—pat yourself on the back for being ahead of the curve!
1. Wunsch, Kathrin, et al. “The Effect of Physical Activity on Sleep Quality, Well-Being, and Affect in Academic Stress Periods.” Nature and Science of Sleep, Dove Medical Press, 26 Apr. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5414656/.