Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

AARP conducted a study among 40+ adults to characterize their sleep habits, understand what keeps people awake at night, and to examine the relationship between sleep and brain health.

spinner image 509782673

Key findings include:

  • Nearly all adults (98%) believe that sleep is important for brain health and adults who sleep better rate their brain health better.

  • Those who rate their sleep quality higher average more hours of sleep per night and have higher average mental well-being scores.

  • Many adults have trouble staying asleep (53%) and/or sleeping through the night (44%). Adults who have these difficulties average less sleep per night and have lower average mental well-being scores. 

  • A majority of 40+ adults say they are well-rested and satisfied with the amount of sleep they get yet nearly half (48%) say they don’t get enough sleep.

  • Adults think they need between seven and eight hours of sleep a night to function at their best and they indeed average seven hours of sleep per night.

  • The most frequently cited activities that adults engage in within an hour of bedtime are watching television and browsing the web and one-third (34%) of adults keep a phone or electronic device by their bed.

  • Nearly nine in ten (88%) adults think a cool bedroom temperature is effective in helping people sleep. Yet only two in five (41%) adults keep their room between 60 and 67 degrees.

Interviews were conducted online among 2,464 adults age 40+ using GFK’s Knowledge Panel from August 31-September 14, 2016. Additional interviews were conducted among African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian adults age 40+. The data is weighted to reflect Current Population Survey and American Community Survey benchmarks. For more information, contact Laura Mehegan at For media inquiries, contact Greg Phillips at