Consumers are even more aware of their sleep habits and their beds | Sheila Long O’Mara

I’ve got good news and bad news to share on the state of sleep in America as we kick off Better Sleep Month this month.

The bad news: Americans are not sleeping enough. The good news: Most of us have finally realized that we would feel better if we got more sleep. Perhaps that realization will lead to consumers taking a good hard look at sleep habits, what they sleep on and the steps they can take to improve their sleep quality and longevity.

The data from Gallup’s December survey indicates that 57% of adults say they would “feel better” if they got more sleep, while 42% say they get as much sleep as needed. The figures pretty much flip-flopped from a decade ago when 56% of those surveyed said they got the sleep they needed while 43% did not.

While we’ve come a long way in the past 10 years, there’s still work to be done on our overall sleep health. In 2013, 51% of adults reported sleeping six to seven hours a night compared with 53% last year. Last year, one-fourth of those 1,000 people 18 and older reported getting eight hours or more of sleep a night.

There were a few interesting trendlines from the survey, including that women are less likely to get enough sleep compared with their male counterparts. In the latest poll, 36% of women compared with 48% of men say they got the needed amount of sleep.

Younger women ages 18 to 49 are much less likely (27%) than other groups to report getting enough sleep. Younger men (46%) say they are getting adequate sleep. Compared with 2001 numbers, the sleep gap for young women swung 15 percentage points.

Age also plays a role in the amount of sleep we’re getting. Older Americans, those 65 years old and older, are more likely than those who are younger to get the sleep they need. That could possibly be attributed to less work stress or fewer family commitments that eat into sleep time. Or, possibly, the older, wiser ones among us see more value in sleep.

Sleep often seems like a long, lost friend that remains elusive just when you need them the most. Better Sleep Month, created by the Better Sleep Council to emphasize sleep wellness, is a great marketing hook for sleep retailers.

Why not tout the benefits a new mattress, pillow, adjustable bed base, mattress protector and linens — a complete sleep system, as you will — and the role they plan in helping deliver a great night’s slumber? By all accounts, retail door swings are significantly down this year, and consumers need more than a subtle nudge to come into a store these days. Maybe a kick would be more effective.

Either way, I see some creative marketing strategies built for the month. As I said, consumers are paying attention to sleep and are coming out to the realization that improved sleep helps improve all aspects of their lives. Capture their attention with something clever and tie it back to a topic that they are already dialed into.

Best of selling.

See also:

  • Illinois retailer touts why mattresses matter for Sleep Awareness Month
  • Find out more about the ‘sleep economy’ | Sheila Long O’Mara

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